Together, we concluded a four-year process of discernment earlier this year as the Annual Conference delegates virtually affirmed the compelling vision. Our Jesus in the neighborhood vision statement is now our Church of the Brethren vision.
This hymn text written by Rosanna McFadden, originally for an Annual Conference statement of a decade ago, was sung during today’s consecration service for the compelling vision. Congregations have permission to use the hymn. McFadden notes that the text may be sung to any hymn tune using 87.87D meter, including the tunes of “Come Thou Fount” and “Brethren, We Have Met to Worship.”
Here is a view from a participant in one of the online “tables” or small break-out groups that participated in the process of affirming the compelling vision statement.
A calendar of online events for youth and young adults has been announced by the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult ministry. The events were shared in a letter from director Becky Ullom Naugle to youth advisors and pastors (https://mailchi.mp/brethren.org/youth-young-adult-ministry-2021). Information also is being shared via Facebook at www.facebook.com/BrethrenYYA.
The Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren has published interpretive documents for its new strategic plan. They include “A Vision Storyline” of the plan and a FAQ document, both in three languages–English, Spanish, and Haitian Kreyol. Find the documents at www.brethren.org/strategicplan.
The complete 13-session Compelling Vision Bible Study Series is now available in English with a Spanish translation to be available in coming days. The series is a project of the Compelling Vision Working Group and is intended to help church members study the compelling vision statement that will be brought for approval to the 2021 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren.
Traditionally the moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference calls the church to Bible study and prayer as we anticipate Annual Conference. This year is no exception, but with an added plus: the availability in mid-February of 13 Bible studies focused on the themes of the proposed compelling vision for the Church of the Brethren (www.brethren.org/ac/compelling-vision).
Much has been altered since the Compelling Vision process began. Some congregations have chosen to leave the Church of the Brethren, the need for structural reform in the church has become ever more evident, and COVID-19 has cast an aura of uncertainty regarding the future nature of congregational life. Amid those significant dilemmas I suggest to you there is nothing more important than studying scripture together to deepen our common commitment to Christ.
The Compelling Vision Team is developing a 13-session Bible study series around the compelling vision being proposed for the Church of the Brethren. Designed for use by youth and adults, the series will be available at no cost on the compelling vision webpage in February 2021. Sample sessions will be posted in mid-January.
The Compelling Vision Team announces a 13-week Bible study structured around the compelling vision, to be released in 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.