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
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.
Elizabethtown Church ‘walks to Nigeria’ in virtual challenge
Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren is holding a “Walk to Nigeria Team Challenge” in which church members and friends of the congregation are invited to log walking miles in their own neighborhoods toward enough miles to walk to Nigeria. “That’s 5,710 miles!” said an announcement.
Press conference by EYN president brings attention to recent Boko Haram attacks, calls on government and international community for action
"While we remain committed as Nigerian citizens in supporting the government of the day in achieving its mandate, EYN was shocked at the Democracy Day Speech of President Buhari on June 12, where he said, “All the local governments that were taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa have long been recovered and are now occupied by the indigenes of these areas who were hitherto forced to seek a living in areas far from their ancestral homes.” That was unfortunate, misleading, and demoralizing...."
Celebrating Juneteenth with news of Brethren actions, statements, and opportunities
Today is Juneteenth, and To join in this celebration, Newsline shares some of the recent actions, statements, and opportunities from Church of the Brethren congregations, pastors, and church members, and the denomination’s Intercultural Ministry:
Withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty signals pattern in international relations and arms control
In a 1980 Annual Conference statement titled “The Time Is so Urgent: Threats to Peace,” Brethren recognized a potential nuclear arms race as one of the most pressing political problems for peacebuilders to address. Amazingly, 40 years later we find ourselves on similarly shaky ground where the barrier between stability and hostility appears increasingly thin. By recently committing to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, the current US administration has compromised the systems set in place to avoid an arms race or military engagement--and the church should take notice.
What does the Lord require? A statement from David Steele, General Secretary, Church of the Brethren
Our hearts break for the loss of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others who have lost their lives due to the color of their skin. Each death represents injustices disproportionately affecting the Black community.