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
- Children’s Disaster Services responds to Hurricane Ida, Afghan evacuation
respond to Hurricane Ida and to provide care for children of Afghan evacuees, after a busy few weeks monitoring several deployment possibilities as well as preparing for multiple trainings to continue to prepare volunteers to respond to the special needs of children in disaster and trauma-related situations.
- Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signs letter supporting Afghan refugees, urging humanitarian action by Biden administration
The Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy is one of 88 faith organizations and 219 faith leaders sending a letter to President Biden urging him to provide a robust humanitarian response to the crisis in Afghanistan and to expand opportunities for Afghans to seek refuge in the US. The letter was organized by the Interfaith Immigration Coalition.
- Remembering Dale Brown, professor emeritus at Bethany Seminary and a leading theologian in the Church of the Brethren
Dale Weaver Brown, 95, professor emeritus at Bethany Theological Seminary and a leading theologian in the Church of the Brethren as well as a former moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, passed away peacefully on Aug. 30, in the presence of family.
- A statement of concern for Afghanistan from Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele
he Church of the Brethren stands by our conviction that “all war is sin” and “we may not participate or benefit from war” (1970 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference statement on war, www.brethren.org/ac/statements/1970-war) but we must ask how we have been complicit in the war in Afghanistan and how we are called to turn now to repentance and right living.
- Office of Peacebuilding and Policy monitors AUMF and withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan
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.
- Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signs letter to Senate Armed Services Committee regarding Selective Service
The Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy has signed a letter sent by peace church organizations and other peace groups to the Senate Armed Services Committee. The letter urges an end to the Selective Service System and rejection of any attempt to add women to the group on which the burden of draft registration is imposed. The letter supports a piece of bipartisan legislation, S 1139, that would repeal the Military Selective Service Act.
- The time to act is now: Rights of conscientious objectors and the Selective Service System
If you are concerned about the rights of conscientious objectors and the Selective Service System (aka “the draft”), the time to act is now.
- Churches for Middle East Peace Condemns Violence in Jerusalem
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) has issued a statement condemning the violence in Jerusalem and calling for the Biden administration to intervene immediately.
- BBT issues annual lists of companies screened from investments for Dept. of Defense contracts
As an agency of a historic peace church that believes in nonviolence, Brethren Benefit Trust has long screened out investing the funds of Brethren Pension Plan members and its money management clients in weapons and weapons systems, firearms, and US Department of Defense contracts.
- Selective Service Repeal Act receives endorsement
The Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy has endorsed the Selective Service Repeal Act on the recommendation of longterm partner organization the Center on Conscience and War (CCW). The bill offers an alternative during a time when others are urging Congress to expand draft registration to women as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022.
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OPP blog posts
- 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 →
- Economic peace
by Nathan Hosler Jesus had much to say about the use and distribution of material resources as well as issues of peace, justice, and reconciliation. From loving enemies and confronting for reconciliation in Matthew 5 and 18, to the “rich young ruler” and not being able … Continue reading →
- Climate justice is economic justice, and economic justice is racial justice.
“Poverty, peace, justice, and climate change are inexorably linked. There can be no hope for justice, no hope for an end to poverty, and no hope for peace if we continue on our present path. We must confront inequality while … Continue reading →