Church of the Brethren
Virlina District
3402 Plantation Road, NE
Roanoke, Virginia  24012
(800) 847-5462
(540) 362-1816
Virlina District

Church of the Brethren
Continuing the Work of Jesus.  Peacefully. Simply. Together.
Continuing the Work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.


View our Events Calendar here! 

(Send all E-Headliner information to

Don't forget to register for the 2018 ANNUAL CONFERENCE - JULY 4-8, 2018  (Click title for more information!)

Join other Brethren from around the denomination at this year's Annual Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Moderator Samuel Sarpiya and Moderator-Elect Donita Keister will lead us in round table discussions, conference business, and worship all centered around the theme, "Living Parables", based on Matthew 9:35-38.  Delegate registration opened up in March, but many Virlina congregations have yet to register a delegate.  Hotel rooms are going fast, so please register as soon as possible.  To register, visit If you need assistance or have questions, contact the Annual Conference office by email <>; or by phone 800-323-8039, ext 364 or 365.

BrainFreeze Brainstorm - Coming to a Congregation Near You!!


We want to hear from you about how the district can support ministry to children, youth and young adults.  Please join us for ice cream and an afternoon of brainstorming. Whether you ARE youth or young adults, have kids in our churches, or just have a heart for young people of all ages, your ideas matter.  Four Virlina churches have agreed to host these brainstorming sessions, so you can choose the location and date that works best for you. We hope to see you there! 

Check below for a host congregation and date that works for you.  ALL are welcome to attend!  Please let us know you are coming by completing PRE-REGISTRATION.  Also, click here for a printable bulletin insert.

Saturday, June 16 at Cloverdale COB beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 23 at Henry Fork COB beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 30 at First Church (Eden, NC) beginning at 3:30 p.m. 

Disaster Response Volunteers needed in U.S. Virgin Islands - St. Thomas - financial aid available

Brethren Disaster Ministries is sponsoring several weeks of clean-up help in St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands).  Volunteers can sign up for one or more weeks during the period of September 9-22.  The Disaster Response Committee of the Virlina District will provide a total of $750.00 to help with airfare to and from St. Thomas if going during this time period.  There is a limit to $150.00 per person.  The committee may decide at a later time to extend this same aid to trips scheduled in 2019.  Please do not hesitate to contact us about this opportunity!!  Volunteers from Virlina congregations can contact Ed or Susan McKimmy (540-354-5345) if interested in going and if interested in applying for financial aid.

There are a few volunteers traveling from the Peace Covenant Church in Durham, NC to St. Thomas to volunteer during the week of July 15-22.  If interested in going with them, there are plenty of spaces open.  Please contact Ed if interested and he will direct you to the right person(s).  Since that week is not purely a Brethren Disaster Ministries week, the District will not provide financial aid for airfare.    

Sponsor a Day of Snacks for NYC!

Our Virlina District Bus Trip to National Youth Conference is getting close. We are hosting 65 participants from 15 congregations on our 2-coach tour to Colorado. We are very excited about our sightseeing along the way! Since our participation level is 50% below anticipated, based on the average from 2010 and 2014, we are looking for ways to trim the expenses while providing the same quality trip. You can help by becoming a financial sponsor for a day of snacks and drinks that we share at our rest stops. We average $1-$2/person each day. All of our needs are supplied while at NYC but the 7 days of travel is an out of pocket expense. If you, your youth group, or a church fellowship group would like to financially sponsor a day of snacks, please contact the District Office at 540-362-1816 or email trip coordinator, Mary St.John, at>. (Checks should be made out to Virlina District with "NYC day sponsor" on memo line.) Thank you and we ask for your daily prayers and support from July 17-28 as we travel together to National Youth Conference!

UPDATE!!!!  Thank you to all who have contributed financially to help with snacks.  At this point we have received enough money (or notice of checks in the mail) to cover the cost of snacks.  Any further donations will be used to offset other expenses.  All gifts received are greatly appreciated! 

SONG AND STORY FEST – JULY 8-14, 2018 (Click Title for more information)

On Earth Peace will be co-sponsoring the upcoming Song and Story Fest. This event is a unique family camp featuring Brethren musicians and storytellers in Ohio. The Swing State Song & Story Fest: Becoming God’s Beloved Community will run from July 8 to July 14, 2018 and will be held at Inspiration Hills Camp in northern Ohio. This is the 22nd summer in a row for these Song and Story Fests and our third visit to Inspiration Hills, the Church of the Brethren camp for northern Ohio. The event will begin Sunday evening, July 8, with supper at 5:00 pm, an opening campfire, and some music and dancing. The Fest will close Saturday morning, July 14, after breakfast, worship, and hugs.

NATIONAL YOUTH CONFERENCE (NYC) – JULY 21-26, 2018  (Click Title for more information)

Participants in National Youth Conference (NYC) 2018 will focus on the theme “Bound Together: Clothed in Christ.” The scriptural theme is from Colossians 3:12-15: “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.”  Kelsey Murray is the 2018 NYC coordinator and Carol Elmore (Virlina District) is an advisor on the National Youth Cabinet.

NYC will take place July 21-26, 2018, in Fort Collins, Colorado.  The event is for youth who have completed ninth grade through one year of college at the time of NYC (or are age equivalent to this range) and their advisors. 

Virlina's taking buses!  For more information, contact Mary St. John at 540-362-1816.

Check out the District's Youth Facebook Page to stay up to date on our trip plans!


The next class to be held at the Roanoke Center will be PREACHING, taught by J. Stuart Kelly. Textbooks for the class are: Taylor, Barbara Brown: The Preaching Life (Cowley Publications, 7th printing, copyright 1993) and Long, Thomas G.: The Witness of Preaching (Published by Westminster John Knox Press, Second Edition, copyright 2005). These are both available on Amazon. The Sunday afternoon classes will be held on July 29, August 5, August 26, and September 9, 2018 from 2 – 6 p.m. at the District Resource Center, 3402 Plantation Road, NE, Roanoke, VA. Tuition for the class will be $75.00 and students are responsible for purchasing the necessary textbooks. For more information or to obtain an application, please contact Judy Mills, Center Coordinator: phone: (540) 992-1980, e-mail:  Make checks payable to VIRLINA DISTRICT and mail with registration form by July 20, to: Judy Mills, Roanoke Center Coordinator, 2805 Nace Rd, Fincastle, VA 24090-4515. CEU credit is available for ordained ministers taking the class.


The 2018 Practice of Ministry Day will be Saturday, August 5, 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Stone Church of the Brethren, 2162 Forest Avenue, Buena Vista, VA 24416-2734. The focus this year is “Communication with Pastor and Parish.” Marty Barlow, John Jantzi, Tabitha Rudy and David Shumate will be presenters on subjects such as “Anger Management”, “Social Media”, and “Politics and the Church.” CEU credit is available for ordained ministers.


adoption without shadowChances are that you know someone who has adopted, is adopted, or might be thinking about adoption. On August 18 at Copper Hill Church of the Brethren, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., we will gather to hear, tell, and learn from adoption stories.  The conversation will focus around these questions: Why adopt?  How does one adopt?  What do I wish I knew before adopting?  What is adoption like for the child being adopted?  What are the joys of adoption?  The challenges?  What do I wish my pastor/congregation knew?  Lunch will be prepared by the Copper Hill Youth Group (donations requested).  This event is free, however we ask that you register so we will have a count for the meal and childcare.  Please register by August 10.  To register, fill out the online form  -- OR --  download and print this registration form.  The Registration Form is also the flyer.  Please print and share with others!!



The Virlina Disabilities Ministry Committee’s focus has been expanded to include persons of all age groups and abilities. Our goal is: “To include everyone who is “other abled” in the life, worship and activities in all Church of the Brethren Congregations in Virlina District.”  To do so, we are offering a time to come together for a “needs survey”, through round table sharing with each other. We hope that this will give you a voice to share your needs. It will also assist us to develop a plan as we work to meet the needs of our Virlina members and congregations.  This conversation will take place at the Summerdean Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, VA on September 8, 2018 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.  To help us prepare, please pre-register.  Get a printable registration form/flyer for the event.  You can also register online


The Annual Day of Prayer for Peace Service will be held at the Roanoke, First Church of the Brethren on Sunday, September 23, 2018, at 3pm.  The theme, “The Things that Make for Peace,” is from Luke 19:42.  This service is sponsored by the Virlina District’s Peace Affairs Committee.  Check back here for more information as we finalize other details.

“LISTENING TO GOD IN A NOISY WORLD” - OCTOBER 13, 2018  (Click Title for more information)

Television, the internet, cell phones, social media updates, constant "breaking news" alerts, and many other distractions, make it hard to listen to God. Join the Spiritual Development Retreat Committee at Camp Bethel on Saturday, October 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for our annual Fall retreat.  We will learn and reflect together on how to be more attentive to God's voice and presence.  The event leaders, Hannah Oakes and Dick Gottshall, will each offer their own guidance and perspectives on this topic.  The cost of the event, which includes lunch, is $25.00.  Click here for registration information.

Virlina District Conference - November 9-10, 2018

Save the date for the 2018 Virlina District Conference!  We will gather as a district to worship and fellowship together, and to do business together, at Bonsack Baptist Church on November 9th and 10th, 2018.  The schedule will be similar to last year, as will some of the age group activities.  There will be some changes, however, to how and when delegates register.  Please keep an eye out for a letter and flyer which will be arriving soon by post mail to each pastor or board chair.  Information will also be routinely updated on the conference website (click on the heading to visit that page, or simply choose "District Conference" from the menu located at the top of this page.)  It will be here before we know it! 


Who can go on a trip?  What is a disaster response trip like?  Do I need to be a skilled carpenter or electrician to go?  How can I help children?  The Disaster Response Committee welcomes the opportunity to speak to congregations who want to learn more about Brethren Disaster Ministries.  Contact Virlina's Co-Coordinators, Ed and Susan Mckimmy, by phone (540)354-5345 or e-mail <> to schedule a presentation for your congregation.


The District Resource Center has a large volume of printed resources, including books and periodicals.  We need volunteers to record which resources we have so we can make them more easily accessible for others to borrow.  This would be a great project for youth who are looking for community service or volunteer hours.  Call the office or email Tabitha if you are interested: 95400 362-1816 or <>.


Did you know that the District Resource Center can run background checks for church employees and volunteers?  Completing background checks for those persons who work with minors or volunteer regularly is a good practice to start and maintain.  Congregations looking to hire new staff who will be interacting with minors, operating church vehicles, or managing funds, need to seriously consider having a background check run on applicants.  Each check costs only $8.50.  To learn more or request an authorization form for a background check, contact Tabitha (540) 362-1816 or <>.


Ever wondered about the work that hospice volunteers do?  Carilion Clinic Hospice would treasure more volunteers to provide occasional relief support to our hospice families.  Founded in 1980, Carilion Roanoke Hospice was the first hospice in Roanoke.  Ever since then our trained and dedicated volunteers have offered practical and emotional support to terminally ill patients and their families.  Our volunteer training provides information about the many aspects of the dying process and the various ways to assist the dying through their end of life journey.  Many of our graduates find the training itself a transforming experience.  There is no obligation to volunteer upon completion of the training.  Call Sue Huntington (540) 224-4795 for information about our Monday afternoon classes starting April 2.


This is a Training Opportunity to assist you in working with couples to build better relationships.

Join us for a one day facilitator’s workshop to train you in the use of a couple assessment tool,  that will be beneficial in your work with couples.  Prepare and Enrich is a customized online assessment for either premarital or marital couples to assess their strengths and growth areas.  Based on a couple's assessment results, the facilitator provides 4-8 feedback sessions to help  the couple discuss and understand their results as they are taught proven relationship skills. This assessment is built on solid research with proven outcomes that will help you make a positive impact in the couple relationship. Carl and Nancy Terry are the Trainers.  They have been leaders in the marriage enrichment field for over 35 years and Seminar Directors for Prepare/Enrich since 2004

The next class will be on May 21, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Church of the Nativity, Raleigh, N.C.  Cost is $195 per person, discounts are available to couples and students. Lunch and snacks are included. Registration deadline is May 10, 2018. Please contact Carl Terry, or (919) 559-2696 to register or for more information.


NCP Learning Tours build community with our neighbors, explore important justice and environmental concerns, and offer opportunities to reflect on the connections between our world and their world. Expect basic but safe accommodations, an encounter with other cultures and ecosystems, good traveling companions, and plenty to think about. Trips are open to people of all ages, with every effort made to create experiences for folks from across the age and ability spectrum. Cost excludes airfare and visas, but includes all on-the-ground expenses.

Dominican Republic: July 2-11 Leaders: Bartolo Incarnacion, Tom Benevento  Cost: $525 ($450 - students)  The Dominican Republic is best known for its emerald blue oceans, white sandy beaches and beautiful all inclusive resorts, but NCP will take you to a different side of that world. Live in a Batey community, learning about life for poor and marginalized immigrant Haitian/Dominican sugarcane workers who earn less than a dollar a day; explore environmental issues of the Caribbean region including deforestation, water scarcity, and the direct impacts of the climate crisis. See community development projects in action, learn from inspiring local activists, and get your hands dirty working alongside villagers to reforest their rugged mountainous homeland, creating edible forest ecosystems. Stay with village families and sleep on concrete floors in remote places.

Denali/Kenai Fjords National Parks, Alaska  (July 29 – August 7)  Leader:  David Radcliff Cost: $825 ($675—student) (plus airfare to and from Anchorage) Camp at Savage River campground 15 miles inside the Park; hike along streams and up a nearby peak; see moose, grizzlies, Dall Sheep, a dogsled demonstration, and (if we’re lucky) Denali—the Great One (highest peak in North America); spend a day doing a volunteer work project; explore environmental issues facing Alaska. In Seward on the SE coast take a day-long fjords cruise to observe whales, walruses, seabirds, and a glacier; visit a sea life center; stay (indoors!) in a cozy hostel.

Arctic Village, Alaska August 7-15   Leaders: Charlie Swaney, David Radcliff  Cost: $875 (plus airfare to and from Fairbanks)  Visit this north-of-the-Arctic Circle community—Gwich’in by birth, caribou by culture. Meet Arctic advocacy groups in Fairbanks: learn about the threat of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the impacts of global warming. Then travel by small plane (included in registration) to Arctic Village. Hike and camp in sight of the Brooks Range, eat traditional foods, experience Gwich’in life and customs, maybe see migrating caribou. Spectacular!

Burma (Myanmar) January 5-16, 2019 Leaders: David Radcliff, Nyan Min Din, Saw Jimmy Zan Cost: $1075 ($975—student) (plus roundtrip airfare to Yangon) Visit this fascinating Southeast Asian country; see cultural and religious sites; learn about reforestation, women’s development and girls’ education projects supported by NCP; explore issues of poverty and ethnic conflict. Overnight trek (moderately strenuous) to Paloung hilltribe area, staying in local homes; travel by boat to the Southeast delta to visit microloan projects.

For more information or to register, visit <> or contact David Radcliff by telephone at (844) 804-2985, by e-mail at <, or by U.S. Mail at New Community Project,  117 Nature Road, Blue Ridge, VA 24064


"The Church In China: Then and Now", will be the theme of a talk presented by Lowell Stultz from his recent visit and experience in China. This will be sponsored by the Remincus Group and will be held June 14, from 1:00-2:00 at the Chapel at Friendship in Roanoke. Everyone is welcome.


You are invited to an informational meeting on June 10th at 5:00 p.m. at the Summerdean Church of the Brethren (6604 Plantation Road, Roanoke, VA). Come to learn about our upcoming trip to Israel and Jordan (November 27th-December 6th). The meeting will last about 45 minutes. We will show you a video and answer all the questions you may have. This trip is hosted by Stafford Frederick and Daniel D’Oleo.

upcoming credentialing services

We endeavor to schedule ordination services in order that the maximum number of our ordained ministers are able to take part. Jessica A. Slusher is scheduled for ordination on Sunday, August 12, at 4 p.m. at the Bethany Church of the Brethren in Callaway, Virginia.



Upcoming 2018 events:

Aug 11   35th World Hunger Auction 
The WORLD HUNGER AUCTION takes place at Antioch on  August 11, 2018.  A special call goes out to all WOODWORKERS.  It is good to have a couple nice pieces of new furniture to sell on auction day.  Since this is the 35th sale, we want to remember those who have gone before and who have provided so much for the event.  A number of them made furniture items, but we have not had as many in recent years.  If you are a skilled furniture maker, please consider creating a nice piece for the Auction in memory of someone you have known.

Congregational Employment Opportunities

Troutville Church of the Brethren is looking to hire an Administrative Assistant to work 32-40 hours a month. Must be able to use Microsoft word and willing to learn other programs as needed. For information and a job description contact the office at (540) 992-1571.

A part-time position is available for a Director of Music who will work with Adults, Youth and Children at Ninth Street Church of the Brethren.  If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact Rosemary Palmer, Nurture Commission Chairperson at (540) 890-4718.  To apply, please submit a resume to the church office, either by e-mail to <> or by US Mail at 1103 Ninth Street SE, Roanoke, VA 24013.

Ferrum Church of the Brethren is seeking a pianist to play on Sunday and special services. If interested contact Vetta Bayse at (540) 427-0505 or by e-mail at <>.


Did you know that Brethren used to travel to participate in another congregation's Love Feast?  In an effort to make this information accessible to all, please share your congregation's Fall Love Feast date with us.  Let us know when your congregation's Love Feast service is by filling out this form: Fall Love Feasts in Virlina 



125 years is an amazing accomplishment! Come celebrate this with the Roanoke-First Church of the Brethren on Saturday, September 29th at 2:00 p.m. A meal will follow. The speakers will be our former pastor, David Racy Miller, and others. See you there! Save the date!