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Sharing inspirational stories of Brethren Stewards in action.
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February 26, 2014


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True treasure

Living word

Finding our call together


Bethany students leading chapel-2013
"They rejoiced in what came alive in them as they worshiped in this place."
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

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True treasure
by Duane Grady

“Therefore every scribe of heaven is like the master of the household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old”
(Matthew 13:52).

Jesus discourages us from thinking of heaven and its joys as a thing to be obtained. Instead, Jesus points to what heaven is like rather than what it is. If we reduce Jesus’ teachings to a pearl or a field or a net full of fish we will despair, because the chase is over, the celebration has ended. True treasure eludes us; there is always more to discover.

The newly married couple was looking for a church in the town where they had just moved. The town provided numerous options, and they were surprised by how drawn they were to a small congregation—a church that had none of the bells and whistles their college church had provided. There was something illogical yet so right in their attraction to this church. They hungered to know more.

By worshiping there the couple discovered people who blessed them with holy conversations. Their hearts were warmed by the love that embraced them, and their minds were guided by the Holy Spirit to consider new treasures of biblical wisdom. This place looked timid and shabby at first, but now felt strong and vibrant. It was hard for them to explain, but they rejoiced in what came alive in them as they worshiped in this place. They saw the face of Jesus in the ministry that surrounded them. Soon, they began contributing themselves by sharing their ideas and enthusiasm. For the very first time, they gave without worry and received a hundred blessings.

It was like finding the best Christmas gift still under the tree. After opening it once, they realized the gift kept on giving and surprising them along the way. The joy of discovering it sustained them.

This excerpt is from this year's Lenten devotional Real Rest produced by Brethren Press. Order it at today.

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Living word- Bible
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

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Living Word,

You sought us and found us as a worshiping people, called together to witness to your love through our shared witness in living, giving, and action. As we seek to know you better through our worship, we come to see you more clearly in the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the homeless, the hurting. As you are one—Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer—we would ask to be one with our sisters and brothers the world over.

As we answer your call, move in our midst, inspire us with your love, send us forward in your name—one people, one in your will, unified with your purpose, generous with your love.


This prayer written by Frank Ramirez is one of many worship resources for the One Great Hour of Sharing offering on
March 16. Find them all at .

Youth walking
"We all have a heart to guide and serve the young people of our church."
Photo by Glenn Riegel

Youth ministry webinars flyer 2014
Find more information about youth ministry webinars at .

Finding our call together
by Bekah Houff, coordinator of Outreach Programs for Bethany Theological Seminary

Vocation. Discernment. Spiritual gifts. Call.

These are words that I did not fully understand until, as a high school student, I attended Explore Your Call at Bethany Theological Seminary. Now, several years later, I am blessed to work with that very same program as part of my own vocation.

As leaders of youth-focused ministries of Church of the Brethren agencies, Marie Benner-Rhoades (On Earth Peace), Becky Ullom Naugle and Emily Tyler (Church of the Brethren), and I have been meeting regularly for almost a year to collaborate and cast a vision for the future of Brethren youth ministry. We all have a heart to guide and serve the young people of our church, so why not do so in partnership together?

One example of this partnership is a series of five webinars that we’re offering, geared toward those who get to talk with youth about vocation, discernment, call, and spiritual gifts. Last month I presented the third in the series, and Becky Ullom Naugle will lead the next one on March 4 at 7 p.m. Anyone who is interested in discussing intergenerational relationships should be there!

Hymn #541 in Hymnal, A Worship Book says, “How clear is our vocation, Lord, when once we heed your call.” I am blessed to walk with others on this journey of discovering call, and honored to share in this exciting work with colleagues and friends who care deeply, hope fervently, and serve boldly.

Will you join us?

Find more information about youth ministry webinars at .

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Thanks for reading!
Watch for our next issue on March 12, 2014.

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