Following the closing worship service of the 229th Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren, in Tampa, Fla., there was a second gathering of Brethren at Camp Ithiel in Atlantic Southeast District. The EYN Women’s Fellowship Choir and a number of other guests from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) stayed at the camp for a time of rest and recovery following a demanding tour that took them to Church of the Brethren congregations across the United States.
“The Church of the Brethren Annual Conference exists to unite, strengthen and equip the Church of the Brethren to follow Jesus.” We find great joy in gathering together. Ironically, the power of our unity can magnify our feelings of vulnerability and frustration. These feelings are not conflicts that can be resolved; they also don’t justify reacting to others unkindly, nor with threats, attacks, or accusations. They are a call to respond respectfully when we are feeling most uncomfortable.