World Assembly and 300th Anniversary Celebration Planned for Schwarzenau

Church of the Brethren Newsline
August 9, 2007

The village of Schwarzenau, Germany, is the site of the 2008 Brethren World Assembly and 300th Anniversary Celebration to take place the weekend of Aug. 2-3 next year. The event is being planned by the Board of Directors of Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc., which has representation from the six largest Brethren bodies descended from the group of eight Brethren who were baptized in the Eder River in Schwarzenau in 1708.

Dale R. Stoffer, vice president of board of directors and dean of Ashland Theological Seminary, Ohio, is serving as chair of the planning committee. The secretary for the board, Dale V. Ulrich of Bridgewater, Va., is serving as coordinator.

A preliminary schedule for the assembly and celebration in Schwarzenau includes:

  • On Saturday, Aug. 2, time during the day for visitors to meditate at the Eder River, walk around the village of Schwarzenau, visit the Alexander Mack Museum–named after the founder of the Brethren, hike as Mack did from the Hüttental to the mill along the river, visit the castle and museum in nearby Bad Berleburg, and take a walking tour of nearby Marburg; a meal tent where a lunch and dinner will be served for a fee; an evening concert by the McPherson (Kan.) College Choir, the Schwarzenau Ladies Choir, the Schwarzenau Men’s Choir, and the Bad Berleburg Choir.
  • On Sunday, Aug. 3, a morning worship service at 10 a.m. with preachers James M. Beckwith, 2008 moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, and Frederick G. Miller, Jr., pastor of Mount Olivet Brethren Church in Virginia; a meal tent where lunch will be served; a 2 p.m. Anniversary Program with guest speaker and German academic Dr. Marcus Meier; and a 4:30 p.m. closing gathering at the Eder River.

Registration for the assembly and celebration including Sunday lunch in Schwarzenau is $85. For a registration form, schedule, and more information, including a list of some nearby hotels and a map of the area, contact Dale Ulrich, Brethren Encyclopedia Coordinator of the 300th Anniversary Celebration, 26 College Woods Dr., Bridgewater, VA 22812;; 540-828-6548. A list of tours also is available.

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The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Dale Ulrich contributed to this report. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To receive Newsline by e-mail go to Submit news to the editor at For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

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