By Norm and Carol Spicher Waggy
Twenty-two representatives of 10 of the 11 Church of the Brethren denominations around the world met by Zoom on Dec. 15 in the second virtual meeting of the Global Brethren Communion.
Igreja da Irmandade of Brazil was represented by Alexandre Gonςalves and Marcos and Suely Inhauser. Ariel Rosario and translator Jacson Sylben represented Iglesia de los Hermanos of the Dominican Republic. The Church of the Brethren in the Democratic Republic of Congo was represented by Lewis Pongo Umbe. Eglise des Freres leaders from Haiti included Romy Telfort, Joseph Bosco, Vildor Archange and Lovely Erius as translator. Country Area Team member Ernest Thakor represented the First District Church of the Brethren in India in place of Darryl Sankey. Representatives Etienne Nsanzimana from Rwanda, Santo Terrerro Feliz from Spain, and Bwambale Sedrack from Uganda were present as well, and also the representatives from Venezuela, Robert and Luz Anzoategui and Jorge Padilla.
The US church was represented by general secretary David Steele, Jeff Boshart of the Global Food Initiative, Roxane Hill as interim manager of the Global Mission Office, and Norm and Carol Spicher Waggy as interim directors of Global Mission.
Nigeria was the only country not represented, as the leaders of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) were delayed in travel from the wedding celebration of EYN president Joel Billi’s daughter.
Following introductions, time was given for sharing from each church group. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be of major concern. Violence and political upheaval also continue in a number of these countries. A shared concern is how these factors have prevented evangelism and meeting together as church communities.
The group appointed a committee to begin the work of proposing a constitution and by-laws to define the structure and purpose of the Global Brethren Communion. Committee members are Marcos Inhauser (chair), Alexandre Gonςalves, Jorge Martinez Padilla, Ariel Rosario, Norm and Carol Waggy or the executive director of Global Mission when appointed, and perhaps a person from EYN.
The next meeting was set for March 9, 2021.
— Norm and Carol Spicher Waggy are interim directors of Global Mission for the Church of the Brethren.
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