Celebrating our ministry in 2023

Year-end Offering 2023

“For great is God’s love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord.” ~Psalm 117:2, NIV

As 2023 concludes, we celebrate the ways God’s love has been visible through the work of the Church of the Brethren. Through your partnership in our core ministries and various missions, many things have been possible this year.

783 total (in-person and virtual) participants for Christian Citizenship Seminar, Young Adult Conference, National Junior High Conference, and National Older Adult Conference.

400+ new pen pals were assigned through the Death Row Support Project.

199 people attended seven in-person training events and 140 people attended seven live webinars connected to the work of Discipleship and Leadership Formation.

172 individuals participated in 12 junior high, senior high, we are able, and adult service trips through FaithX.

101 attendees joined in-person and virtually for the New and Renew Conference.

49 volunteers, including 21 new volunteers from two orientations, were supported by Brethren Volunteer Service.

20 projects (15 international and 5 domestic) were funded through grants from the Global Food Initiative totaling $124,111.

17 applicants received grants from the Brethren Faith in Action fund.

12 countries including the US received grants from the Emergency Disaster Fund totaling $1,024,565.

5 District Executive search teams began their work, assisted by the Office of Ministry, and 2 new district executive ministers were installed.

4 equipping sessions were provided for the Part-time Pastor, Full-time Church program.

1 international partner officially joined the Global Church of the Brethren Communion, bringing the total to 12 countries.

Thank you for supporting these and many more endeavors with your prayers and gifts. We give thanks for your partnership and for God’s faithfulness in 2023.

If you haven’t already, you can make a year-end offering to the Church of the Brethren at www.brethren.org/year-end-offering.

(Read this issue of eBrethren.)

God with us

Painting of Jesus as an infant with the Advent Offering logo

A theme interpretation written by Matt DeBall, coordinator of Mission Advancement Communications, for the 2023 Advent Offering of the Church of the Brethren

“The young woman, who has never had a man, will give birth to a son. They will give Him the name Immanuel. This means God with us.” ~Matthew 1:23, NLV

“Only God can save.”

This phrase was repeated by our Christian Theology professor in undergraduate studies. This simple yet profound statement emphasizes God’s ability to help humanity in ways that we are not able to help ourselves. Through the redemptive work of Jesus, we understand that is not by human intervention, but by the work of God that healing and salvation are found for all that ails the earth.

As humans, it is natural for us to believe that we’re in control of our lives, but as God-fearing people, we believe every heartbeat and every breath is a gift from God. And just as God’s life-giving presence sustains every rhythm of our bodies, we understand that God provides strength for our mouths to speak encouraging words, stability for our hands to share in acts of service, and support for every way we show compassion to others.

During the season of Advent, we remember the promise of Immanuel, God with us. We prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the fresh expression of God’s presence in the world. We acknowledge the renewed invitation to declare our dependence on the God who reveals great love and saves.

Within the Church of the Brethren, we believe that God’s presence guides and sustains every mission and ministry that we carry out together. In the life of congregations and the larger church, it is because God is among us that we have come this far and can remain hopeful about the future.

Remembering how the peaceful and love-filled ways of God save, let us celebrate how God is with us. Through Advent and onward, let us pray for God’s presence to be increasingly seen and experienced among us.

Learn more about the 2023 Advent Offering (suggested date: December 17) at www.brethren.org/adventoffering or make a gift today at www.brethren.org/giveoffering .

(Read this issue of eBrethren.)