“Ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus… I have not stopped giving thanks for you.” ~Ephesians 1:15-16
Global Mission prioritizes collaboration with leaders of sister Church of the Brethren bodies in countries around the world. We seek to join in their faithful witness to Jesus Christ and to learn from them while sharing our heritage and blessings with them. These churches are striving to follow the Bible and example of Jesus, and they see the Church of the Brethren holding a special gift and are drawn to the idea of continuing the work of Jesus: peacefully, simply, together.
2023 marks the 100 anniversary of the founding of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria. Thousands of church members and guests attended more than a dozen events held in 13 zones across the country. Celebrations included worship, prayer, scripture readings, preaching, singing, music, and traditional dances by groups representing the local tribes of each zone of the church. While the church has experienced much persecution over the years, they remain steadfast in their faith and have become a beacon of peace that is inspiring other denominations across Nigeria to seek the gospel of peace as well. We praise God with our Nigerian brothers and sisters and rejoice for their work in Africa.
In 2018, a “Vision for a Global Church of the Brethren” mission philosophy paper was adopted by Annual Conference. Global Mission staff and volunteers have gathered the Global Church of the Brethren Communion, a group of representatives from each of the national bodies of the Church of the Brethren, to discuss and discern how to function as the Global Church of the Brethren, to gather as autonomous Brethren bodies seeking mutual encouragement, to sharing resources, and to support each other.
The Church of the Brethren has been established in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, India, Nigeria, Rwanda, Spain, Uganda, Venezuela, and the United States, and is emerging in other areas around the globe. People are choosing to be Brethren and are choosing to plant the church where they are. Each week, more than half a million people around the world worship in a Church of the Brethren congregation. This specific work is in line with our mission polity, which aims to “maintain close fraternal relationships with other regional conferences; seek to be of one mind with other regional conferences as to matters of faith and belief; participate in periodic world assemblies of the Church of the Brethren; and, when appropriate, cooperate with other regional conferences for activities and programs such as disaster relief, leadership training, church planting, and ecumenical activities.”
The Global Mission office works with our country partners in Burundi, China, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, South Sudan, and Vietnam. Volunteers, like Chris Elliot and his daughter Grace, Marla Abe, Galen Hackman, Bob Kettering, and others along with Global Mission executive director Eric Miller and Global Food Initiative manager Jeff Boshart work to give support to our country partners by providing education in agriculture practices and/or spiritual practices for those who are being called into ministry. For more information visit www.brethren.org/global.
Thank you for supporting servants of Christ near and far. Your gifts to the Mission Offering support the Office of Global Mission and our sisters and brothers around the world. Learn more about the Mission Offering (suggested date: September 10) and find worship resources at www.brethren.org/missionoffering. Give an offering today at www.brethren.org/giveoffering.
(Read this issue of eBrethren.)