Members of the Church of the Brethren attended the inaugural national gathering of Missio Alliance on April 11-13. Missio Alliance ( www.missioalliance.org ) is an emerging network of evangelicals and Anabaptists looking for a new way to be the church in an increasingly post-Christendom culture.
“One People, One King” is the theme for a special worship emphasis in the Church of the Brethren, being planned for Sunday, Nov. 25. Scheduled for an unusual Sunday that falls this year between Thanksgiving and the start of Advent–traditionally called “Christ the King” or “Reign of Christ” Sunday in the church calendar–this worship emphasis invites believers to be reminded, before a season of waiting, of whom we await.
On Sunday morning, Aug. 5, in a small town in Wisconsin six Sikhs worshipers were gunned down in their Gurdwara, place of worship, by a racist who then killed himself. On Sunday afternoon, the Sikh community issued a newsletter calling on the interfaith community to show solidarity with them by holding prayer vigils in our own places of worship. I do not know if my church will hold a prayer vigil. So I will pray my prayer and stand in silent worship in my home. — Doris Abdullah
An innovative conference on ministry with children and youth drew well over 400 people from across North America and from several other countries. “Whatever our faith tradition, wherever we live, we are united in shared convictions that the vitality of the church depends on children and youth and that young people are dear to God’s heart,” said Dave Csinos, founder and chief planner of the conference, called “Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity” (CYNKC).
In “A Community of Love,” the Lenten devotional from Brethren Press, author Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford encourages readers to engage in personal introspection that leads to participation in the community of faith. Congregational Life Ministries of the Church of the Brethren is hosting a blog as one way to invite readers into this larger community of faith. The site will offer simple prayers and questions growing out of the Lenten devotional. Also find more resources for Lent and Easter from Congregational Life Ministries, Global Women’s Project, and the Springs Initiative.
A one-day workshop and webinar titled “Changing World, Future Church, Ancient Paths” will be led by Stuart Murray Williams and Juliet Kilpin on March 10, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Pacific), or 12-6 p.m. (central). The event will address the question, “What does it mean to follow Jesus in a changing culture, in which the Christian story is no longer familiar and the church is on the margins?”
Richard Foster, founder of Renovaré and author of “Celebration of Discipline,” along with Chris Webb, new president of Renovaré and an Anglican Priest from Wales, will be the featured leaders at a Renovaré Essentials Conference on April 21, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., at Leffler Chapel at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College.
Resources are now available for the 2011 Church of the Brethren Advent Offering on the theme “Prepare the Way.” The offering is designed to help congregations connect with Church of the Brethren peace and justice ministries through worship and reflection, and provides support for the denomination’s core ministries fund.
On Earth Peace is kicking off its fifth annual campaign organizing community groups and church congregations to participate in the International Day of Prayer for Peace (IDPP) on Sept. 21. The scripture theme for the 2011 campaign is “Seek the peace of the city–for in its peace, you will find peace” (Jeremiah 29). The IDPP is an initiative of the World Council of Churches, related to the United Nations observance of an international day of peace.
The Annual Conference officers are requesting prayer for the 2011 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren, on July 2-6 in Grand Rapids, Mich. A prayer calendar is available in this news story, and is online at www.brethren.org/ac in a format designed for easy use as a planner and for printing. The Implementation Committee of the Standing Committee of district delegates was asked to create a resource to help the officers and committee spiritually prepare for the work in Grand Rapids. This prayer calendar is the result, and is being shared with the whole church.