“Celebrating the Church of the Brethren’s 300th Anniversary in 2008″
(March 24, 2008) — Iglesia de los Hermanos (the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic) held its annual Assembly from Feb. 28-March 2. The event drew 86 delegates among some 200 people in attendance at a church camp in Bani, a city located west of the capital of Santo Domingo. Twenty churches were represented and nearly all participated in sharing special music and greetings with the conference.
Lively, inspirational worship was held around the theme of “Total Integrity,” with preaching by moderator José Juan Méndez, pastor of Fondo Negro Church; Tim Harvey, chair of the Church of the Brethren General Board; and Miguel Nuñez, a well-known Baptist pastor from Santo Domingo.
Much of the business and all sermons were translated from Spanish to Creole, reflecting the diversity of both Dominican and Haitian-immigrant members. The assembly joyfully welcomed the participation of two representatives from the new Brethren mission in Haiti, Tim and Lynette Harvey (representing the General Board), and Jorge Rivera, associate district executive minister for Atlantic Southeast District/Puerto Rico.
Business items included reports from pastors and national leaders as well as Irvin and Nancy Heishman, General Board mission coordinators for the DR, and Beth Gunzel, General Board staff for a church microcredit project. The present Dominican Board leadership, called to serve in the recent Sept. 2007 Assembly, was reaffirmed for another year. Pastor Felix Arias Mateo from the Maranatha congregation was chosen as moderator-elect.
We sensed a positive spirit and a desire among the Dominican Brethren that the Spirit would bring wisdom and understanding out of difficulties of the past year, when the Dominican church has been struggling with a crisis related to leadership. Members of the church really worked with one another, helping to process challenging items with a strong spirit of cooperation.
–Nancy and Irvin Heishman are the Church of the Brethren mission coordinators for the Dominican Republic. They provided this report from the 2008 Assembly in the DR.
The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Leslie Lake 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.