By Donita J. Keister
Two years ago, during my year as moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, it was my joy to move from one district to the next having conversations about what it means to be the church, and where God is leading us as a denomination. We talked about how we can come together around a compelling vision for the Church of the Brethren, with the conversation culminating at Annual Conference 2019 in Greensboro, N.C.
As the Compelling Vision Team released the articulated vision and interpretive document in the early months of 2020, anticipating that the affirmation of the vision would be taken up at Annual Conference 2020, little did we know that Annual Conference would unprecedentedly be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. While it is hard to see the momentum of the compelling vision process interrupted, and even harder to see our congregations and denomination struggle against the difficult circumstances surrounding the pandemic, the Compelling Vision Team continues working to lead the denomination in affirming a new and compelling vision for our life together.
The conversation during the entire compelling vision process, which began at Annual Conference 2018, has been centered on Christ and surrounded by scripture. As we bring this vision to the denomination it is important for scripture study around the articulated vision to continue as we prepare for the affirmation of the vision at Annual Conference 2021.
With this in mind, the Compelling Vision Team is excited to announce that a 13-week Bible study structured around the vision is being prepared and will be released during the month of February 2021–just in time for spring Sunday school classes and Bible studies. We have 13 different writers from across the denomination preparing these studies. This Bible study resource will give your congregation an opportunity to explore how this vision compels you to live out the call of Christ as revealed in scripture, and how it can draw us together as a denomination unifying around a common purpose and direction.
We hope your congregation will plan to use this resource as part of your Spring 2021 Bible studies.
— Donita Keister is the immediate past moderator of Annual Conference and associate pastor of Buffalo Valley Church of the Brethren in Mifflinburg, Pa.
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