“Celebrating the Church of the Brethren’s 300th Anniversary in 2008″
(Feb. 19, 2008) — “Piecing Together the Brethren Way” is the 300th Anniversary curriculum resource for children, kindergarten through grade 5. It was published by the anniversary committee and is available through Brethren Press.
“Faith is like a quilt,” wrote Anniversary Committee member Rhonda Pittman Gingrich in an article announcing the curriculum. “Each prayer we say, each person we encounter, each scripture passage we study, each experience we have, each song we sing are like patches added to a quilt, making it ever stronger and more beautiful. Our corporate faith is also like a quilt. The pattern of the Brethren quilt has been enriched through the years by faith-filled people, experiences, and principles. It is important that we help our children add these patches to the pattern of faith they are stitching together.”
The anniversary curriculum encourages children to explore the marks and practices that make the Brethren expression of the Christian faith distinctive, and to integrate them into the children’s own walk with Christ. Distinctives highlighted in the curriculum include Believers Church, Seeking the Mind of Christ, Counting the Cost of Discipleship, Believers Baptism, Worship, Love Feast, Reconciliation, Forgiveness, Church Discipline, Non-Conformity and Simple Living, Peace and Nonresistance, Peace and Justice, Mission, Service, Health and Wholeness, Call and Vocation. “Not only will children gain an understanding of the historical and theological foundations for these marks, but they will integrate these marks into their own walk with Christ,” said Gingrich.
Designed with flexibility in mind, the 14 lessons in “Piecing Together the Brethren Way” can be used as a whole or selected sessions can be chosen. The lessons provide material suitable for Sunday school, an after-school program, a day camp, Vacation Bible School (VBS), or a once-a-month intergenerational program.
The curriculum includes a CD-rom containing introductory material, lesson plans, take-home “Discussion Quilts,” quilt block patterns, three original picture books, and a music CD. The music featured in the curriculum is “River Still Running,” an original theme song by Andy and Terry Murray, along with several of their best-loved heritage songs, and three tracks with words and music from Ted Studebaker, who was killed while serving as a church volunteer during the Vietnam War.
Written by Brethren for Brethren, the writers for this project were Jean Moyer of Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, and Joanne Thurston-Griswold of Huntingdon (Pa.) Stone Church of the Brethren.
Order from Brethren Press for $49.95 plus shipping and handling, call 800-441-3712. While a congregation will only need to purchase one copy of the curriculum, each church will need to purchase one copy of the CD for each classroom using the curriculum.
The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Rhonda Pittman Gingrich contributed to this report. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To receive Newsline by e-mail go to http://listserver.emountain.net/mailman/listinfo/newsline. Submit news to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.