Our spiritual, cultural, and traditional belief systems speak of creation as a garden. Humankind, it is said, is the receptacle and caretaker of the garden. After more than two years of pandemic crisis, ongoing wars and conflicts, and a heating planet, the nations of the world have resumed in-person meetings to discuss their mandates and treaty bodies regarding life in the garden called earth.
Scott Holland has been awarded professor emeritus status at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., as of July 1. Now in semi-retirement, he is continuing to teach the core courses in the seminary’s groundbreaking theopoetics program that he helped to develop. He also continues to represent the seminary and the theopoetics program “on the road” as a preacher and guest lecturer.
Lafayette (Ind.) Church of the Brethren developed a statement in response to recent violent events around the country: “The Lafayette Church of the Brethren strongly denounces racially motivated violence such as the recent murders in Buffalo, New York. As Christians, we know God loves everyone and calls us to love our neighbors and our enemies. We confess that we have been silent when we should have been speaking out against racial violence. We will not be silent anymore….”
Tom Mauser of Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren in Littleton, Colo., in mid-July was one of those invited to attend President Biden’s celebration of the signing of the first gun reform bill in nearly 30 years.
The Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy is one of the faith-based groups signing on to a letter to President Biden concerning Cuba and a statement calling for a return to the Iran nuclear deal.
Nigerian troops have found two of the former schoolgirls abducted from Chibok by Boko Haram jihadists eight years ago, Mary Dauda and Hauwa Joseph. In a related development, EYN leadership celebrate the return of Mary Iliya, who was abducted in 2020 by jihadists from Bolakile. Also recently freed is Rebecca Irmiya.
“Please lift in prayer families of Grossnickle Church of the Brethren who were directly affected by the shooting in Smithsburg, MD on Thursday, June 9,” said one of a series of prayer requests from the Mid-Atlantic District leadership. Three people were killed in a shooting at Columbia Machine on that afternoon, and at least one first responder, a Maryland state trooper, was among those wounded.
Action is defined as the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim. There are many good ways to take action, and while it is less important which action you take, it is of the utmost importance that we act and act together in ways that get us closer to our goal. During the month of May, the mass shootings at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, N.Y., and Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, spurred the Washington, D.C.-based faith community to take action to address the scourge of gun violence in a few different ways.
Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to various needs in recent weeks. A main focus has been the needs of Ukrainian refugees, with major grants going to Church World Service (CWS) relief focused on Ukrainian refugees sheltering in Moldova, to aid displaced Ukrainians with disabilities through L’Arche International, and to Child Life Disaster Relief programming for an orphanage in Ukraine.
On June 7, the NCC signed onto a faith letter to the US Congress regarding US budget priorities. Among our partners in this effort were the Alliance of Baptists; American Friends Service Committee; Church of the Brethren, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy; Friends Committee on National Legislation; Pennsylvania Council of Churches; Presbyterian Church (USA); Presbyterian Peace Fellowship; United Methodist Church–General Board of Church and Society; and United Church of Christ, Justice and Local Church Ministries.