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
- Church of the Brethren staff plan expansion of agriculture and trauma recovery programing in South Sudan
A plan to expand Church of the Brethren agriculture and trauma recovery programing in South Sudan is receiving support from Brethren Disaster Ministries and the Global Food Initiative. A joint allocation directs $29,500 to the work in South Sudan, including $24,500 from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) and $5,000 from the Global Food Initiative (GFI).
- Discipleship Ministries offers opportunity to share prayers
The Church of the Brethren Discipleship Ministries is announcing an opportunity to share prayers in response to the general secretary’s letter following the violence of Jan. 6 at the US Capitol.
- Treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons receives 50th ratification
By Nathan Hosler On Oct. 24, the United Nations received its 50th ratification for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). As a result, the treaty will “enter into force” in 90 days, on Jan. 22, 2021, and become international law. While this will not immediately eliminate the threat of nuclear war, it
- Church of the Brethren calls for peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
The following statement was released today by the General Secretary of the Church of the Brethren and the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy: “Whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith” (Galatians 6:10). The Church of the Brethren is concerned with
- Nettle Creek Church of the Brethren celebrates 200 years of a unique history
By Brian Mackie Nettle Creek Church of the Brethren in Hagerstown, Ind., will be celebrating 200 years on Sunday, Oct. 11. The congregation was begun in 1820 and has a unique history, including hosting the 1864 Annual Meeting (now called the Annual Conference) of the Brethren–the last where Civil War martyr John Kline served as
- Antietam Dunker Church 50th annual service streams this Sunday afternoon
The 50th annual Dunker Church Service at the old Brethren meetinghouse on the Antietam battlefield will be virtual this year, and available to view online. Brethren Press and “Messenger” magazine publisher Wendy McFadden is the featured speaker and will share a message on “The Wounds of War and a Place for Peace.” The Dunker meetinghouse
- Atlantic Southeast District to present a Virtual Peace Camp 2020
The Action for Peace Team of the Church of the Brethren’s Atlantic Southeast District is presenting a Virtual Peace Camp 2020, the 13th peace camp to be held by the district. Usually the event is held over Labor Day Weekend at Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Fla., but because of the pandemic the event this year will be online via Zoom and offered free to participants.
- ‘The Church in Black and White’ symposium is planned for Sept. 12
The Brethren and Mennonite Heritage Center in Harrisonburg, Va., announces “The Church in Black and White,” a one-day symposium on the racial history and future of the Brethren and Mennonite churches, Saturday, Sept. 12, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, and virtually via Zoom.
- Marking the 75th anniversary of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Aug. 6 and 9, 2020, mark the 75th anniversaries of the nuclear bombings of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. The Church of the Brethren has been involved in peace witness in Hiroshima through the placement of Brethren Volunteer Service workers at the World Friendship Center. Currently, Roger and Kathy Edmark of Lynnwood, Wash., are serving as directors of the center through BVS (see www.wfchiroshima.com/english ).
- Death Row Support Project reflects on first federal executions in 17 years
The federal government’s actions this past week are tragic on so many levels. What are the motives for ending a 17-year hiatus of the federal death penalty? The federal government has carried out the executions of two death row inmates this week: Daniel Lee on July 13 and Wesley Purkey on July 16.