Art above, by Fabio Gomez, Lancelot Armstrong, and Richard Knight, is from the Death Row Support Project exhibit
The Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy works in Washington, DC to advocate for Brethren values like peace and simplicity in the context of U.S. policy.
In Romans 12, we see the call to be personally transformed and bear witness to the peace we have received. The Office of Peacebuilding and Policy seeks to live the peace of Jesus publicly by educating on issues and peace theology, organizing Church of the Brethren members and congregations to take action, and advocating in Washington, DC around issues of concern for the denomination.
Our denomination’s 1989 annual conference statement on Church and State says that “Christians and the church are called at times to speak a prophetic word to the state. When the state is doing things that negate and deny God’s will as revealed in Jesus Christ and the Bible, Christians must speak out, doing so in love and respect for those engaged in wrongdoing and those being wronged (Eph. 4:15). When the state is doing things which move in the general direction of God’s will and way (human well-being, justice and peace), Christians can give support and commendation.”
We take the Biblical call to use our voices to speak out for justice seriously. We amplify the voices of Nigerians impacted by Boko Haram violence, call for an end to drone warfare, raise awareness of the importance of creation care, and advocate on a variety of other peace-related issues.
Our office also coordinates with a wide variety of faith-based organizations that work on peace issues, in line with the 2018 annual conference statement on ecumenism. These organizations include:
- Center on Conscience and War
- National Religious Campaign Against Torture
- Creation Justice Ministries
- Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare
- Churches for Middle East Peace
- Christian Peacemaker Teams
- Webinar will focus on ‘drone warfare, tech assassinations, and the future of conflict’
A webinar sponsored by the Interfaith Working Group on Drone Warfare is the subject of an action alert from the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy. Titled “Drone war, tech assassinations, and the future of conflict: Theological, legal, and policy developments,” the webinar is planned for Dec. 13 at 12 noon (Eastern time).
- Heifer International board welcomes new CEO Surita Sandosham
Last week the Heifer Project International board gathered in Little Rock, Ark. Though I have been representing the Church of the Brethren on this board for two years, this was the first time I met fellow board members and most of the staff. In addition to physically meeting board members and staff, who I’ve been with for many hours of Zoom, I met the new CEO, Surita Sandosham. Having joined the board only 20 days earlier, Sandosham was still in intense listening mode.
- Faith groups’ letter to Pres. Biden urges pursuit of diplomacy to avoid nuclear catastrophe
More than two dozen faith groups, including the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, have written a letter to President Biden urging the abolition of nuclear weapons, and stating that “the possession and use of nuclear weapons cannot be justified.” The letter comes after the Biden administration responded with threats of “catastrophic consequences” to Russian Pres. Putin’s veiled threats to use nuclear weapons.
- Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signs letter on Cuba, statement on Iran nuclear deal
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.
- Taking action on gun violence
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.
- Ecumenical faith letter on the US budget is sent to Congress
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.
- Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signs on to letter to President Biden encouraging creative peacebuilding for Ukraine
The Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signed on to an April 6 letter to President Biden, that was sent cooperatively with several other partner organizations. The letter called on the President to “think creatively about how to end this catastrophe rather than maintaining it through violence and escalations” and offered “examples of creative, courageous nonviolent resistance.”
- Ecumenical Advocacy Days calls for ‘fierce urgency’ on civil and human rights
Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) is an annual gathering of conscientious Christians uniting to speak for global peace and justice. As people of faith, EAD attendees understand every person to be created in God’s image, deserving of life, safety, dignity, and a voice loud enough to be heard and heeded.
- Webinar on watershed stewardship to engage intersection of faith and the environment
The Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy along with the Brethren Creation Care Network will be hosting a webinar about watershed stewardship on March 30 at 7 p.m. (Eastern time). We will be featuring special guest David Warners from Calvin University and also inviting interactive participation by Church of the Brethren attendees.
- Christian leaders in US send open letter to Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill
Nathan Hosler, director of the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, is one of the more than 100 Christian leaders in the United States who have signed an open letter to Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, asking him to speak out against his country’s invasion of Ukraine.
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OPP blog posts
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- Taking Nature Black
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