Page 1 - 2021 August-September Newsletter
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Southern Pennsylvania District

                                             Church of the Brethren

                                                     A Message from our District Executive

                                         Emails started to come to my inbox asking if the message was from me.
                                       Apparently, I had been hacked and someone with a Samsung Galaxy phone had
                                       sent out messages on my account asking for help. The message instructed people to
                                       contact me and to send me $400 in gift cards. It was not me and I do not even own
               Give all your
                  worries              a Samsung Galaxy phone! I instantly sent an email to my pastors informing them
                   and                 and asking them to contact their church offices that it was a scam.
                   cares                 Hacking has become commonplace these days. We have heard of the hacking that
                  to God,
                for He cares           is coming into our country and holding major corporations for ransom in the
                about you.             millions of dollars. Some of my DE colleagues have been scammed with messages
                                       that sound suspiciously like the one purported to have come from me.
                I Peter 5:7
                                         One of our District pastors had a rather ominous email that threatened to
                                       download obscene pictures into their computer if they did not pay up. Fortunately,
                                       the police were contacted, and nothing has come from the threat. In a time when
                                       people are so eager to see the worst in others, actions like that which was
                                       threatened could easily ruin the life, reputation, and ministry of an innocent person.

          Volume 39, Issue 4             The internet is a wonderful tool and social media has made it easy to contact long
          Aug / Sept 2021              lost friends and distant family members. But its usage has a dark side. It seems that
                                       criminals are spending time exploiting the access to people’s lives to do nefarious
                 I N S I D E             The Bible tells us to guard our hearts. In my way of thinking it is saying to be
                  T H I S
                 I S S U E :           careful about what you expose yourself to. I think it also means to strive to fill your
                                       heart with things that are admirable, pure, and true.
           New & Events    2-13          We also need to guard our fingers when a keyboard is accessible to us. It is far too
           Throughout the
           District                    easy to take shots at someone or demean them when you can hide behind that
                                       keyboard. I have seen a lot of things on Facebook that are cruel in their depictions
           Giving Report     14        or descriptions of others. Also, some people share way too much information in
                                       their postings. Please Sisters and Brothers, recognize the limitations that a social
                                       media conversation has and be incredibly careful in what you say to and about
           Training       15-22        others.
                                         One of the downsides of the pandemic has been the isolation from others. While
           Meeting & Event   25        we were trying to be safe, we spent more time devouring media and social media,
                                       and some have become ensconced in what has been called “silos” or listening
                                       chambers.” They heard the same thing repeatedly and perhaps only heard negative
           Annual Confer-  26-27       things. Eventually this became their feelings and beliefs. It could be matter of
           Wrap Up                     personalities, politics, or even about our beloved denomination. It is difficult to
                                       counteract that effect and try to speak the truth in love.

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