Members of the Church of the Brethren attended the inaugural national gathering of Missio Alliance on April 11-13. Missio Alliance ( www.missioalliance.org ) is an emerging network of evangelicals and Anabaptists looking for a new way to be the church in an increasingly post-Christendom culture.
The gathering of over 700 ministers, scholars, and lay persons met in Alexandria, Va. The gathering shared the common understanding that “in large parts of our culture, Christianity now exists at the margins and is met with a sense of antagonism amidst the growth of religious pluralism.” This new context, then, “calls for asking fresh questions and engaging in dialogue about topics as fundamental as the gospel, humanity, scripture, the Holy Spirit, and the Kingdom of God; all framed around the role of the church in relationship to God’s mission in the world.”
Notable leaders included Amos Yong, Rodman Williams Professor of Theology and director of the Doctor of Philosophy program at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va.; Cherith Fee Nording, associate professor of Theology at Northern Seminary in Oak Brook, Ill.; Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary; and Jo Saxton, director of 3DM and equipping director at North Heights Lutheran Church in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.
Church of the Brethren attendees included Joshua Brockway, director of Spiritual Life and Discipleship for the denomination; Tara Hornbacker, professor of ministry formation at Bethany Theological Seminary; Dana Cassell, minister of youth formation at Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren; Ryan Braught, a church planter and pastor of Veritas, a church plant in Atlantic Northeast District; and Laura Stone of Manchester Church of the Brethren in North Manchester, Ind., and a student at Andover Newton Seminary.
The Brethren participants attended workshops that considered topics such as urban church planting, multi-centered leadership, theological education, and faith and politics.
To learn more about missional church thought and practice, or the work of Missio Alliance, contact Joshua Brockway at jbrockway@brethren,org or 800-323-4304 ext. 304.
— Joshua Brockway is a member of the Congregational Life Ministries staff.