At the invitation of the Office of Ministry, Annual Conference moderator Paul Mundey is preparing a Sabbath rest-themed sermon designed to encourage preachers to take a Sunday off from preaching sometime this fall.
Upcoming webinars are by the Church of the Brethren Discipleship Ministries, Intercultural Ministry, Outdoor Ministry Association, and Office of Ministry. Topics include “Witness of Churches on the Path to Healing Racism: A Theological Exploration” and “Cultivating a Verdant Faith: Eco Discipleship Practices for the 21st Century Church.”
“People of faith across the centuries have used the Psalms, laden with powerful images and emotions, in their devotional life,” said an announcement from Brethren Press about its newest Covenant Bible Study. “God’s Steadfast Love in the Psalms” is written by Christina Bucher, a professor of religion at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College.
The Office of Ministry is sponsoring a webinar titled “Exploring the Holy Spirit: Mover and Shaker of Ideas and Actions” on July 30 from 1-2 p.m. (Eastern time). Leading the event will be Grace Ji-Sun Kim, professor of theology at Earlham School of Religion, and Denise Kettering-Lane, associate professor of Brethren Studies at Bethany Theological Seminary. Both schools are located in Richmond, Ind.
Three online denominational events last week have brought a new level of virtual experience to the Church of the Brethren: a children’s worship and a denominational worship service on the evening of Wednesday, July 1, and a Church of the Brethren concert on the evening of Thursday, July 2, with both worship experiences available in Spanish as well as English. These virtual events were timed to happen on what would have been the first two evenings of the now-canceled 2020 Annual Conference. Recordings of all three events including the worship experiences in Spanish are available at www.brethren.org/ac/virtual .
“Lessons from the Latinx Church” is a webinar series provided by the Freedom Road Institute for Leadership and Justice to help church leaders and pastors learn and live into the new possibilities for ministry. A free introductory session is taking place on June 30 at 12 noon (Eastern time). Sessions will continue at 12 noon (Eastern time) every Tuesday through July 28.
The Shine curriculum from Brethren Press is helping congregations provide Christian formation while maintaining social distancing. With the Sunday school landscape changing, most churches will either rely on parents to teach their own children or have teachers host online classes. These new downloadable options from Shine work in conjunction with the fall curriculum and will assist leaders by supplying useful resources to accommodate multiple formats and class settings.
Our first Digital Hymn Sing went live on April 20 and had an estimated 200-plus participants. Each Monday night since, we have been consistent at about 200 live viewers, with hundreds of additional views after the video posts to YouTube, where people can view it days or weeks later.
On July 1, a Denominational Worship Gathering for the Church of the Brethren, planned by the Annual Conference Program and Arrangements Committee, will take place virtually starting at 8 p.m. (Eastern time). It will center around the theme, “New World Coming!”
An hour-long music celebration featuring Church of the Brethren musicians from across the denomination will be presented online on July 2, the evening after the Denominational Worship Gathering and Children’s Worship Service. The concert will start at 8 p.m. (Eastern time).