Category Archives: Uncategorized

We are bcmPEACE!

BCM short logo color w-tag 2014bcmPEACE is how you can find Brethren Communities Ministries on the web and social media.  It’s not a name change, but as you can imagine the acronym “BCM” was already taken on the web and social media by an assortment of entities ranging from an anarchist in San Francisco to an Italian architectural firm.  So from now on to connect with us on the web ( or YouTube; or on social media like Twitter (@bcmPEACE), Facebook, or Instagram; use bcmPEACE and you’ll find us!  (FYI our old website and emails still work).  You’ll probably see and hear us using bcmPEACE when previously we would have said “BCM” so we can easily communicate with people how to find us in this ever increasing digital world; while at the same time expressing our timeless mission in this world….Sharing Things that Make for Peace.

8th Annual Agape-Satyagraha Banquet Highlights

Our banquet this year on September 26, 2013 was a great success thanks to all the volunteers, staff and participants. We’d like to say a special thank you to our speaker, Sanford “Sandy” Krevsky, Esq., our Honorary Chair, Dr. Hector Ortiz, and our Peacemaker Honorees, Steve Suknaic, Stephen Drachler, Louise Knight, and Helen Spence.

Congratulations to our Agape-Satyagraha Gradutes, Colin “CJ” Burger, Devin Dixon, and Teresa Simpson.

Our marvelous speaker: Sanford "Sandy" Krevsky, Esq. from Law Firm of Krevsky & Rosen P.C.

Our marvelous speaker: Sanford “Sandy” Krevsky, Esq. from Law Firm of Krevsky & Rosen P.C.


From Left to Right: Teresa Simspon (Agape-Satyagraha Graduate), Don Mitchell (BCM Board Chair), Hector Ortiz (Honorary Chair), Steve Suknaic (Lifetime Achievement Peacemaker Honoree), Stephen Drachler, Louise Knight & Helen Spence (Peacemaker Honorees), Vladimir Beaufils (BCM Board Member)

From Left to Right: Teresa Simspon (Agape-Satyagraha Graduate), Don Mitchell (BCM Board Chair), Hector Ortiz (Honorary Chair), Steve Suknaic (Lifetime Achievement Peacemaker Honoree), Stephen Drachler, Louise Knight & Helen Spence (Peacemaker Honorees), Vladimir Beaufils (BCM Board Member)


Agape-Satyagraha Teens & Mentors: (L to R):

Agape-Satyagraha Teens & Mentors: (L to R):


Our silent auction was a success!

Our silent auction was a success!




You’re invited to the 8th Annual Agape-Satyagraha Banquet!

invitation image web

You’re invited!

September 26, 2013
6:00 pm—8:30 pm

 Best Western Premier
800 East Park Drive
Harrisburg, PA 17111

Cost: $40 per ticket
$75 for 2 tickets
$300 for a table of 8

Register online or by phone! or 717.234.0415 ext 20

Keynote Speaker:
Sanford “Sandy” Krevsky, Esq.
Law Firm of Krevsky & Rosen, P.C.Sandy specializes in Criminal Defense and Domestic Relations Law and  is a partner in the Law Firm of Krevsky & Rosen, P.C.  He is a Custody Conciliator where he mediates custody disputes.  Sandy also serves as the Senior Hearing Examiner for Dauphin County Children and Youth.
2013 Agape-Satyagraha Peace Maker Honorees:
Helen Spence
Stephen Drachler
Louise Knight

2013 Agape-Satyagraha Peace Maker Lifetime Achievement:
Steve Suknaic

Agape-Satyagraha Youth Graduates will also be honored.

If you’re unable to make it to the banquet, we welcome any other support you can give through donations.

Welcome our Interim Program Director

Tilley, Ron

The Board of Brethren Community Ministries approved the hiring of Rev. Ronald Tilley II (“Chaplain Ron”) as its Interim Program Director at its October meeting.   He will serve as program director of Brethren Community Ministries with responsibility for program development, promotion and administration. He began on Monday, October 15.  This interim position is expected to last about 15 months.  During this period, the BCM Transition Team will be leading Harrisburg First Church and BCM in discerning the future of BCM and its staffing needs.

Ron Tilley completed his undergraduate degree in biblical studies at Cairn University and also studied at Jerusalem University College in Israel.  He received his Master of Divinity degree in Urban Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago and is completing his Doctor of Ministry focusing on Urban Ministry in Complex Settings at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston.

Chaplain Ron comes to us with 18 years of urban ministry experience in Harrisburg with the Evangelical Free Church of America’s Urban Intercultural Mission.  Ron’s duties as an EFCA ordained clergy and EFCA endorsed chaplain have included serving on numerous national denominational teams dedicated to Reconciliation and Justice; as block chaplain at Dauphin County Prison and on an urban church plant team in Harrisburg.   He’s launched community development ministries here in Harrisburg; and coached urban church plants, restarts and community development ministries throughout the Northeast U.S.

For the last ten years, Ron served as Executive Director of Firm Foundation, an interdenominational community development Christian ministry in Harrisburg.  Firm Foundation was instrumental in organizing Fugitive Safe Surrender; The Capital Region Ex-Offenders Support Coalition; The Center for Education, Employment & Entrepreneurial Development; and the Tri-County Fatherhood Coalition.  Under Ron’s leadership and fueled by Jesus’ love, Firm Foundation provided numerous fathers and ex-offenders with housing.

Please keep Chaplain Ron, BCM, Harrisburg First Church and our Transition Committee in your prayers during this time of discernment of the future of community ministry in South Allison Hill. career training, recovery support, reentry services, mentorship and spiritual counseling.  God’s Spirit led many served by Firm Foundation to follow Jesus or deepen their Christian faith.  Ron is an adjunct faculty member with Eastern University and serves as Organizer for Heeding God’s Call-Harrisburg, an interfaith initiative committed to reducing handgun violence.


Retirement of Pastor Gerald Rhoades

Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren announces the retirement of Rev. Gerald W. Rhoades effective December 31, 2012.  Pastor Gerald has served Harrisburg’s Allison Hill neighborhood since 1983 as Director of Community Ministries at Harrisburg (PA) First Church of the Brethren and since 2000 as the Executive Director for Brethren Community Ministries.  In this role, he established programs for children, youth, and adults–these include developing Agape-Satyagraha Conflict Resolution Training for youth, KIDS’ Church, computer classes, coordinating a weekly food distribution and Bible study, and serving as the first executive director of Brethren Housing Association. Pastor Rhoades has been recognized by the Governor and Mayor for his ministry.

Before coming to Harrisburg, Gerald served as the pastor of the Douglas Park (Chicago, IL) Church of the Brethren and Rice Lake (WI) Church of the Brethren.  He holds a Master of Divinity from Bethany Theological Seminary and a bachelor degree from Manchester College (now Manchester University).  Gerald grew up at the Greenville (OH) Church of the Brethren.  He has been an ordained minister for 39 years.

Gerald is the husband of Rita Rhoades and father of Marie Benner-Rhoades and Diana, Lisa, and Christine Rhoades.  He looks forward to remaining active in the church and community, to reading, writing, and visiting his daughters.

Boscov Fundraiser

In order to support our community ministries, we are selling shopping passes for Boscov’s “Friends Helping Friends” Day, Tuesday, October 16, during regular store hours. The shopping passes are $5 which BCM keeps to support our ministries.  The shopping pass gives you 25% off of your purchases that day and puts you in the drawing for door prizes. There will also be free refreshments.    Shopping Passes may be purchased by contacting us at 717-234-0415 x12,, or 219 Hummel Street, Harrisburg, PA.

We will also be at the Camp Hill location selling passes on Friday, October 12 from 11 am until 2 pm. Come get a pass to use on October 16th.

Agape-Satyagraha is Growing Nationally

Paula Bowser, pastor of the Trotwood Church of the Brethren near Dayton, Ohio, writes, “Gerald! We have almost 20 young people at our Wed. night meetings…. many are ready to test out on the white level and advance to green. It is SO exciting… and SO humbling and I am SO depending on Jesus every moment as I relate to these young leaders…. Pray for our site… and thank you so much for sharing a truly remarkable resource!” Trotwood is one of the seven Agape-Satyagraha pilot sites across the country. The newest Agape-Satyagraha site that is developing is in Harrisonburg, Virginia. We are in partnership with On Earth Peace as new Agape-Satyagraha sites are developed.