“Celebrating the Church of the Brethren’s 300th Anniversary in 2008″
(Sept. 19, 2008) — Mission staff of the Church of the Brethren are planning a meeting with RECONCILE, a peace and reconciliation organization in southern Sudan, to continue building relationships to consider places of partnership. Brad Bohrer, director of the Sudan Initiative, will travel to southern Sudan from Sept. 29-Oct. 11, during which time he will meet with RECONCILE leaders and also provide leadership for two events sponsored by the organization.
“The Sudan Initiative recently has gone through a clarifying time,” Bohrer said. “With staff changes came a period of stepping back from the direction we were going, a time of reevaluation and discernment. The vision and call continues for us to go to Sudan, but we are going with a clearer, deeper call from Sudanese leaders to partner with them in the rebuilding of the country after the civil war.”
RECONCILE was formed in 2003 out of the work of the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC), Bohrer reported. The Church of the Brethren has been involved with the NSCC since its inception, and has in the past provided staff as well as financial and other support. Merlyn Kettering, a Church of the Brethren member who served for a time as a church consultant for economic and social development in Sudan, wrote most of the organizing documents for the creation of RECONCILE and also trained its early leadership.
RECONCILE is currently involved in workshops for church and community leaders to foster peace on a local level, as well as training for reconciliation, participation in local and national government through elections, and empowering the population to be in healthy communities, Bohrer reported.
“My trip will be to deepen our partnership with RECONCILE and define some long- and short-term positions that we will try to fill to strengthen their program and create sustained presence in Sudan,” Bohrer said. During his trip, Bohrer also will provide a leadership training event for the RECONCILE staff, and give a workshop for church and community leaders on the importance of participating in elections.
“I’m excited that we can walk along with RECONCILE in this way,” Bohrer said. He added that conversations are in progress with other Sudanese organizations and churches to explore further partnering relationships that the Church of the Brethren can establish.
The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. 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.