Office of Peacebuilding and Policy
“A Witness of the Church of the Brethren”
The Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy works in Washington, DC to advocate for Brethren values like peace and simplicity in the context of U.S. policy.
In Romans 12, we see the call to be personally transformed and bear witness to the peace we have received. The Office of Peacebuilding and Policy seeks to live the peace of Jesus publicly by educating on issues and peace theology, organizing Church of the Brethren members and congregations to take action, and advocating in Washington, DC around issues of concern for the denomination.
Our denomination’s 1989 annual conference statement on Church and State says that “Christians and the church are called at times to speak a prophetic word to the state. When the state is doing things that negate and deny God’s will as revealed in Jesus Christ and the Bible, Christians must speak out, doing so in love and respect for those engaged in wrongdoing and those being wronged (Eph. 4:15). When the state is doing things which move in the general direction of God’s will and way (human well-being, justice and peace), Christians can give support and commendation.”
We take the Biblical call to use our voices to speak out for justice seriously. We amplify the voices of Nigerians impacted by Boko Haram violence, call for an end to drone warfare, raise awareness of the importance of creation care, and advocate on a variety of other peace-related issues.
Our office also coordinates with a wide variety of faith-based organizations that work on peace issues, in line with the 2018 annual conference statement on ecumenism. These organizations include:
- Center on Conscience and War
- National Religious Campaign Against Torture
- Creation Justice Ministries
- Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare
- Churches for Middle East Peace
- Christian Peacemaker Teams
CDS Critical Response Care serves children, families affected by mass shootings
(August 26, 2019)
Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) deployed two Critical Response Care teams at the request of Red Cross in response to two mass shootings in the past month. CDS Critical Response Care teams are specially trained CDS volunteers who work with children after an incident such as terrorism, transportation disasters, or mass casualty events.
Director of Ministry writes to pastors following shootings
(August 16, 2019)
The Church of the Brethren director of Ministry, Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, wrote a letter to pastors across the denomination after the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Her letter followed on that of general secretary David Steele, and encouraged pastors in their work to reduce violence in their own communities.
In Response to the Shootings in El Paso and Dayton
(August 5, 2019)
“A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more” (Matthew 2:18).
Church of the Brethren reaffirms its historic commitment to opposing the death penalty
(July 29, 2019)
On July 25, 2019, Attorney General William Barr announced that the federal government would resume the use of the death penalty, after a 16-year halt, and directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBP) to schedule the executions of five inmates currently on death row.
Remembering cost of following Jesus at May 15 service for WWI conscientious objectors
(June 28, 2019)
On May 15, International Conscientious Objection Day, a group representing local congregations from each of the historic peace churches and the Community of Christ (an emerging peace church) came together for a memorial service honoring the conscientious objectors during World War I. Approximately 84 people attended from local congregations and Scott Holland attended from the faculty of Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind.