Continuing the work of Jesus
Jesus brought a message of life, love, and hope. But he offered much more than inspiring words: He understood that people's spiritual needs also include day-to-day human ones -- food, health, rest, comfort, friendship, and unconditional acceptance. "I am the way," he told his followers. He showed them how to trust, how to care, and how to help. Steadily, lovingly, even radically, Jesus went about saving the world -- by serving its people. Because we believe his message, we seek to do the same.
Whether the conflict involves warring nations, racial discord, theological dispute, personal disagreement, or mere misunderstanding, Brethren listen conscientiously, seek guidance in the scriptures, and work toward reconciliation. We practice peaceful living.
- Regard human life and dignity
- Repair the ravages of poverty, ignorance, exploitation and catastrophic events
- Bring food, books, classes, tools, medicine and faith
Living peacefully, to the Brethren, means treating each person with the attentive, compassionate respect that all human beings deserve.
Church of the Brethren Statement on Peace and War
"We cannot retreat from the world... We must become aware of the rampant injustice and subtle hidden violence in today's world, examine our own involvement, and identify nonviolently with the oppressed and suffering... We look toward a future that will be more peaceful, just, and respectful of God's creation."
From the 1991 statement, "Peacemaking: The Calling of God’s People in History"
What does the Bible say?
Indeed, we live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards" (2 Corinthians 10:3 NRSV).
“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you" (Luke 6:27 NRSV).
How can we take action?
- Practice and encourage conflict mediation as a way to work through conflict
- Visit the On Earth Peace website: www.onearthpeace.org
- Join Brethren Volunteer Service to peacefully serve others
- Participate in a peace studies program through one of the following colleges: Elizabethtown College, Juniata College, Manchester University, the University of La Verne, Bridgewater College and Bethany Seminary.
- Read the Church of the Brethren’s fact sheet: http://support.brethren.org/site/DocServer/Pursuing_Peace_Fact_Sheet.pdf?docID=10047
Years ago, all Brethren were immediately recognizable because of their plain dress and reserved ways. Today's Brethren live very much in the world, work in a broad range of occupations, and make use of the latest technology. We try to:
- Simplify our lives
- Practice modest nonconformity
- Think about our daily choices
- Use simplicity to guide decision-making, in the way we:
- Conduct business
- Raise our children
- Spend our leisure time
- Tend our natural resources
- Use our money
Whether worshiping, serving, learning, or celebrating, Brethren act in community. Together, we study the Bible to discern God's will; we make decisions as a group, and each person's voice matters.
- We gather at the table of the Lord for Love Feast
- We convene annually as a denominational family
- We work alongside other denominations, at home and abroad, in worldwide mission and outreach.
- We welcome all who wish to share with us in another way of living: the way of Christian discipleship, life in community, fulfillment in service.