Denomination invited to gather online for worship and music on July 1 and 2

The Church of the Brethren is holding online celebrations for the whole denomination on July 1 and 2, the days when the now-canceled 2020 Annual Conference would have begun. These events are planned and sponsored by the Annual Conference Program and Arrangements Committee.

Photo by Glenn Riegel
Ken Medema’s hands at the keyboard, playing a concert for the 2011 Annual Conference. A long-time friend of the Church of the Brethren, Medema has agreed to write and record a song specifically for the denomination’s virtual concert.

A Denominational Worship Gathering on July 1 starting at 8 p.m. (Eastern time) will be preceded at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern) by a Children’s Worship Experience. On the next evening, July 2, a Church of the Brethren Online Concert will start at 8 p.m. (Eastern time). Details are at www.brethren.org/ac/virtual . Links to the online events will be available at https://livestream.com/livingstreamcob/
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Denominational Worship Gathering – July 1 at 8 p.m. (Eastern time)

The Denominational Worship Gathering will center around the theme, “New World Coming!” and will feature the preaching of Kayla Alphonse and Paul Mundey, with a wide array of music, including selections by Jacob Crouse, Janelle Flory Schrock and Kendra Flory, the Keister Sisters, Shawn Kirchner, Nancy Faus Mullen, and Josh Tindall. Two of the hymns of the denominational virtual choir will be offered: “Move in Our Midst,” and “I See a New World Coming.” General Secretary David Steele will offer prayers for the church. A wide array of additional people from across the denomination also will be involved in leading the worship. A series of congregational stories will lift up the outreach of the Church of the Brethren around the world.

“In a season of disruption and despair, the service will point to the God in Christ who makes a way where there seems to be no way (Isaiah 43:19)–encouraging us to build new worlds in God’s name (Luke 4:18-19)–seeing with eyes of faith, the vision of the Lamb (2 Corinthians 5:7)–as a weary earth sings, nevertheless, a New Song of New Creation, in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 21:1-8)!”

A bulletin will be posted a week before the service at www.brethren.org/ac/virtual so that people can print it out in advance if they wish.

Children’s Worship Experience – July 1 at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern time)

This special experience for children and families–as well as others who want to join in worship together–will offer 25 minutes of activities tailored for children of all ages. Featured are the puppeteers Dotti and Steve Seitz of Manheim, Pa.; storyteller Linda Himes of LaVerne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren; songleader Carol Hipps Elmore of Oak Grove Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va.

Online Concert – July 2 at 8 p.m. (Eastern time)

An hour-long music celebration will feature musicians from across the country and around the world, presenting musical offerings with a wide variety of styles and instruments. Contributors include Church of the Brethren musicians Joseph Helfrich, Michael Stern, Shawn Kirchner, Seth Hendricks, Terry and Andy Murray, Jacob Crouse, the Bittersweet Gospel Band, and members of Miami (Fla.) First Church of the Brethren. The women’s choir from the Mubi congregation of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) will be featured as well as several memorable excerpts of music from recent Annual Conferences. In addition, a long-time friend of the Church of the Brethren, Ken Medema, has agreed to write and record a song specifically for the event. The concert is hosted by Program and Arrangements Committee members Emily Shonk Edwards and Carol Elmore.

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