The Program and Arrangements Committee of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference has announced a denomination-wide online worship gathering titled “Venturing Forth Boldly as a Faith Family,” scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 27, at 8 p.m. (Eastern time). In a season of disruption and despair, the service will assure us of what “God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9) and how we can faithfully respond.
The theme is taken from the proposed compelling vision for the Church of the Brethren, with its call for Brethren to “venture forth boldly as a faith family, expectant and innovative, serving others and the God who makes all things new.” The scripture theme is 1 Corinthians 2:9-10: “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him’–these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.”
Congregations are invited to consider using this for their own Sunday morning worship service on Feb. 28, or any later date. Links will be shared in February, including separate links for the service in English and in Spanish.
Featured speakers include preachers Kurt Borgmann, pastor of Manchester Church of the Brethren in North Manchester, Ind., and Audri Svay, Bethany Seminary student and co-pastor of Eel River Community Church of the Brethren in Silver Lake, Ind.; worship leaders Cindy and Ben Lattimer, co-pastors of Stone Church of the Brethren in Huntingdon, Pa.; and an array of people from around the denomination who will offer additional expressions of worship leadership.
A children’s time will direct the theme to a younger audience.
A wide array of music will include selections by Leah Hileman and Miami (Fla.) First Church of the Brethren.
A “behind the scenes” story from Nancy Faus Mullen will tell how the hymn “For We Are Strangers No More” was included in the 1992 Hymnal: A Worship Book published jointly by Brethren Press, Faith and Life Press, and the Mennonite Publishing House.
Moderator-elect David Sollenberger will explore by video what online worship means for Church of the Brethren congregations, which historically have thrived on person-to-person interaction. The report will examine stories of congregational faithfulness and innovation in Arizona, Colorado, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
The worship gathering is being planned by the Annual Conference Program and Arrangements Committee: elected members Emily Shonk Edwards, Carol Elmore, and Jan King; the Conference officers, moderator Paul Mundey, moderator-elect Dave Sollenberger, and secretary Jim Beckwith; and Conference director Chris Douglas as staff. Find out more about Annual Conference at www.brethren.org/ac.
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