|Photo by Glenn Riegel|
|Nancy Heishman, who will serve as moderator of the 2014 Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio.|
“Live as Courageous Disciples” is the theme that moderator Nancy Sollenberger Heishman has announced for the 2014 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren, on July 2-6 in Columbus, Ohio. The New Testament letter of Philippians is the theme scripture.
The Conference Office notes that the 2014 annual meeting is scheduled for Wednesday through Sunday, a change from recent years when the Conferences commonly have been held Saturday through Wednesday.
“The times in which we live call for boldness, for courage, for fearless living that is faithful to the word and life of Jesus Christ,” said the moderator’s theme statement, in part. “The world around us is hungry and thirsty for living examples of lives radically committed to following Jesus. More than ever, the church needs to be a community in which Jesus’ disciples spur one another on to live courageously in this world.
“My dream for this coming year is that we will take steps toward living out the beginning of our denominational vision statement, which is: ‘Through scripture Jesus calls us to live as courageous disciples in word and action,’” Heishman added.
The moderator is encouraging church members “to set aside this year to all study a particular New Testament letter together, the letter that the apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians. In this small letter, as well as the background found in the book of Acts, we see what a life of truly courageous discipleship looks like. Even from a prison cell, Paul passionately proclaimed the gospel of Christ and encouraged others to find the courage to live it out in their daily lives.”
Heishman noted that Philippians has just 104 verses and 2,243 words, and added a challenge to memorize the whole book. “It would only require memorizing two verses a week until next July!”
She invites church members to share their experiences of studying and memorizing Philippians, and stories of courageous discipleship with her as she travels among the wider church this year.