Five study papers on Christian understanding were written for and presented at the 2010 National Council of Churches (NCC) and Church World Service General Assembly. These papers served as the focus for discussions throughout the Assembly. Church of the Brethren General Secretary Stan Noffsinger describes the papers as “thought-inspiring and provocative resources, which should be made available for each member communion’s leadership and congregations.”
According to the National Council of Churches, the papers “draw on the common heritage which Christians and their churches share, the richness of which is found in scripture and tradition.”
Study guides are being developed to accompany each of these papers. The first of these papers and its accompanying study guide, “Christian Understanding of Unity in an Age of Radical Diversity,” has been posted on the General Secretary’s web page. Brethren pastor and former District Executive Minister Mark Flory-Steury wrote the study guide, and will also write three of the others. Leadership for a second study guide, on “War in an Age of Terror[ism],” was given by Jordan Blevins, Advocacy Officer and Ecumenical Peace Coordinator for the Church of the Brethren and the National Council of Churches.
Other titles to be made available in the coming months are:
— “Christian Understanding of Mission in an Age of Interfaith Relations”
— “Christian Understanding of Creation in an Age of Environmental Crisis”
— “Christian Understanding of the Economy in an Age of Growing Inequality”
The study guides are designed to give church leadership, pastors, and laity exposure to the broader Christian community’s thinking on these topics. They also will be linked from the NCC website, as well as those of other denominations wishing to use them.
Go to http://www.brethren.org/site/PageServer?pagename=NCC_StudyPapers to download copies of these documents.