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
- 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.
- Faith groups send letter on nuclear dangers
The Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy is one of the faith groups that signed a letter to President Biden calling on the US administration to “seize this moment and move us closer to a world free from the existential threat of nuclear war.”
- Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signs joint letter from faith groups urging leaders to de-escalate tension, pursue peace in Ukraine
With the threat of a Russian invasion looming in Ukraine, faith communities are uniting in their message to Congress and the Biden administration, calling for leaders to protect human lives and prevent war. The Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy has joined other Christian denominations and interfaith groups in sending a joint letter to Congress and the Biden administration. The letter, dated Jan. 27, 2022, urged leaders in the US, Russia, and Ukraine to invest in diplomacy, reject a militaristic response, and act to prevent human suffering.
- Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signs faith letter calling for closing of Guantanamo
The Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy has signed an interfaith letter calling for the closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The office was one of 29 denominations and national faith groups that signed the letter sent to President Biden and all of the leaders and members of Congress on Jan. 11
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OPP blog posts
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- Ecological Injustice in Lagos, Nigeria
One of the more visible effects of global warming is flooding, and coastal cities -like Lagos, Nigeria- are seeing a rise in sea levels, due to melting polar icecaps. As one of the most populous cities on the continent of … Continue reading →
- The Saudi-Arabia-Iran Cold War and the Looming Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East
by Angelo Olayvar “While recognizing our limitations in fully perceiving the complexities and ambiguities pertinent to the Middle East conflict, we feel compelled to articulate our concerns on matters which are critical in modifying tensions in the area and moving … Continue reading →
- US Militarism and Climate Change
by Angelo Olayvar Earth Day is an annual one-day event on April 22 that seeks to show support for the protection of the environment. According to the official website, the 2021 Earth Day theme is ‘Restore Our Earth’, which focuses … Continue reading →
- The war on terrorism and the erosion of human rights
By Angelo Olayvar It is exactly one month before the impending May 1 deadline to pull out all US troops in Afghanistan. The destruction brought by the wars waged by the United States in the Middle East against terrorism along … Continue reading →
- Taking Nature Black
by Susu Lassa I was opportune to attend the 2021 Taking Nature Black Virtual Conference, which took place from Tuesday, February 23rd to Saturday, February 27th. It was put on by the Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) as a Black history … Continue reading →