Brethren Volunteer Service
Working for peace
Serving human need
Caring for creation
BVS is committed to working with projects and volunteers who advocate justice. Providing reliable legal services for immigrants, practicing and teaching restorative justice, supporting conscientious objectors, and speaking up on behalf of those who have been and continue to be systematically oppressed are just a few ways BVSers go about the work of justice.
Working for Peace
The Church of the Brethren has gifted us with a tradition of pacifism and peacemaking, and for BVS, this is a lively, active part of our faith. Volunteers lobby congress, practice mediation and teach nonviolent conflict transformation. Many of our projects are in places where war and violence have torn communities apart: Northern Ireland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hiroshima, Japan, Sudan. BVSers work with organizations committed to rebuilding relationship and making peace.
Serving Human Need
On any given day, BVS volunteers can be found providing hospitality for families of people in prison, serving in local soup kitchens and homeless shelters, building houses for those without shelter, and walking in solidarity with sisters and brothersliving with mental illness. Paul reminds us over and over again in his letters to the early churches that we are all members of one body. Serving one another in our most basic needs for food and shelter and companionship is one way that we discover our interconnectedness.
Caring for Creation
Just as our relationships with one another call us to work for justice and peace, so too does our relationship with the earth call us into active service. During orientation, volunteers learn to live lightly on the earth, consuming less and re-using more. Volunteers serve across the world with organizations dedicated to reducing pollution, fighting global warming, introducing responsible agricultural practices, planting trees, and reducing fuel consumption.Whether it is living simply and using our portion of the earth's resources responsibly or working with people committed to changing the ways we relate to the earth, BVS takes caring for creation seriously.