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.
You can read more about what we have worked on recently here: 2017/2018 Office Update
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
Many Brethren across the country gather, pray, speak about Charlottesville
(August 17, 2017)
Many Brethren across the country have been involved in prayer gatherings, prayer walks, vigils, and other gatherings responding to the events in Charlottesville, Va., while others have helped issue a variety of statements. Here is a sampling:
And who is my neighbor? The Good Samaritan, or how we justify ourselves
(August 14, 2017)
Samuel K. Sarpiya, moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, has shared this reflection in response to the weekend’s events in Charlottesville, Va. This is the first in a series of reflections on the 2018 Conference theme, “Living Parables”:
Brethren clergywoman shares about Charlottesville experience
(August 14, 2017)
“It was extremely grim and sobering to be face-to-face with such hatred and racism--and more so because of what seemed almost an inevitability about the clash between white supremacists and others,” said Kim McDowell, pastor of University Park Brethren and Baptist Church in Hyattsville, Md. She was one of the clergy who provided a presence in Charlottesville, Va., during the white supremacist rally on Saturday. She was not aware of other Church of the Brethren clergy who may have been present.
Annual Dunker Church Service will be 47th held at Antietam
(August 5, 2017)
The 47th Annual Dunker Church Service will be held in the restored Dunker Church at the Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Md., on Sunday, Sept. 17, at 3 p.m. This service will take place on the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, and commemorates the peace witness of the Brethren during the Civil War.
UN holds hearing on Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons
(August 5, 2017)
While we rightly call attention to the awful atrocities of Boko Haram in Nigeria, we often overlook the other great tragedy of trafficking in girls and women from Nigeria. The Central Mediterranean Route report show that nearly 80 percent of Nigerian girls and women, between the ages of 13-24, arriving in Europe are victims of sex trafficking.