The ecumenical organization Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), of which the Church of the Brethren is a member denomination, is offering a variety of resources for acting and praying for peace in Israel and Palestine, and for gaining a better understanding of the conflict there.
Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele has sent a pastoral letter to the Armenian community following the Azerbaijan attack against Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) which forced the Armenian population to flee the area. The letter was sent to Archbishop Vicken Aykazian on behalf of the Armenian Church of America, the global Armenian Orthodox fellowship, and the Armenian community worldwide, with particular attention to the Armenian members and attenders within the Church of the Brethren.
The Church of the Brethren has joined more than 20 Christian churches and organizations in the United States in sending a letter to the United States Congress mourning the loss of life in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories and calling for a ceasefire and the release of all hostages. The denomination’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signed an interfaith letter to the Biden administration and Congress, dated Oct. 16, also calling for a ceasefire.
“Last week Alex and I had opportunity to Facetime, something we had not done in several weeks. He and his family are back at their home in Chernihiv (Chernigov). I was able to extend greetings to all the family…. The family is doing well, particularly in light of the circumstances….”
As director of Humanitarian and Disaster Response for World Relief, and someone who has attended a Church of the Brethren congregation for many years, I am stunned and saddened by what is happening in Ukraine. As a member of the Integral Alliance, World Relief has witnessed many natural and man-made disasters over the years. Nothing quite compares to this.
The Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board issued a statement on Ukraine during its Spring meeting at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Board chair Carl Fike, who led the meeting, signed the statement with the unanimous consent of the members of the board.
Quinter (Kan.) Church of the Brethren pastor Keith Funk has shared updates this week on the situation in Chernigov, Ukraine, received from pastor Alexander Zazhytko of the Chernigov Brethren. The two pastors are in daily communication.
Quinter (Kan.) Church of the Brethren, which has a longstanding relationship with a partner congregation in Ukraine, is requesting prayer “for intervention for peace and safety and an end to the escalation of the situation.” Quinter pastor Keith Funk shared the request in a telephone interview this afternoon. The partner congregation in the city of Chernigov, Ukraine, identifies as the “Church of the Brethren in Chernigov.” It is pastored by Alexander Zazhytko.
In line with our 2004 Annual Conference “Resolution: Iraq,” 2006 Church of the Brethren “Resolution: An End to the War in Iraq,” and 2011 Church of the Brethren “Resolution on the War in Afghanistan,” the Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy along with our ecumenical and interfaith partners are watching and engaging with developments on the repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (2002 AUMF) and withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.