Hold our feet to the path

Nancy McCrickard sharing at a virtual staff meeting of the Church of the Brethren.

By Nancy McCrickard, Mission Advancement advocate

We hear in Psalm 66:9, “He holds our lives in his hands, and he holds our feet to the path” (TLB).

Take a moment and look at your feet. What shoes are you wearing today? Take one off and hold it up. Are you wearing heels? Or flats? Tennis shoes? Or work boots?

At the end of October 2022, I donned my tennis shoes–and my apron–to volunteer for a week (in between the Church of the Brethren District Conference schedule) at the Brethren Disaster Ministries project site in Waverly, Tenn.

This was an incredible opportunity to show that love is more than a word–to demonstrate love in action. It was eye-opening to live in the disaster-affected neighborhood, inspiring to hear firsthand survivor stories, moving to witness firsthand the devastation, and exciting to connect “around the table” with fellow volunteers. It was hard work. Daily I helped prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the volunteers, and cleaned our living space, common bathrooms, and showers. I came away knowing that it truly takes everyone–with all abilities (and who wear varying types of shoes during their “day jobs”)–to be of service to our neighbors!

I’d like to share with you a glimpse of this experience:

“I hear…(on the television news)…and I forget.”
“I see…(in the newspaper)…and I remember.”
“I do…and I understand (better).”
– Confucius

A quote by Cathy Allen causes me to pause: “Life brings simple pleasures to us every day. It is up to us to make them wonderful memories.”

My week serving on this project brings so many cherished memories to mind: after dinner conversations with fellow volunteers, walking to local stores to purchase last-minute grocery items, and, my highlight, meal preparation with Doretta (simple tasks, yet now cherished memories). I realize, now more than ever before, that it is all about the people–the people we serve and those we serve with!

My fellow volunteers of “The Fun Bunch”

We are a people of service. May we be ever watchful for how we can “hold our feet to the path” and make Christ’s footprints more visible in neighborhoods across the country and around the world!

So let’s put on our shoes and enjoy the day!

Learn more about the ministries of the Church of the Brethren that make the footprints of Jesus visible in the neighborhood at www.brethren.org/greatthings or support them today at www.brethren.org/give.

(Read this issue of eBrethren.)

Living as servant leaders

Photos courtesy of Chris Elliott

A reflection by Chris Elliott about ministry for the Church of the Brethren in Rwanda

Among my favorite places on the planet is the little village of Gasiza in Rwanda. Nestled in the Virunga mountains, it isn’t exactly remote, as it’s less than a one hour drive from our home in Gisenyi. But a good bit of the journey is over very poor roads, giving one the impression that it’s farther out than it really is. 

The location is so beautiful that it might be described as stunning. The farms are well maintained and very productive. There are onions, cabbages, potatoes, beans, tomatoes, maize, bananas, eggplant, mangoes, avocados – and the list goes on. One hears dairy cows lowing and sheep bleating in the background. The view is incredible. On a clear day you can see Lake Kivu in the distance, as well as the volcano Mt. Niyirigongo in neighboring Congo. 

But the real reason it is one of my favorite spots is the Gasiza Church of the Brethren. The congregation is led by Peter Claver Habimana, a fifty-something man with a dear little wife, Mama Josephine, and a family of eight children. When a younger man, he was, by his own description, a drunkard and an atheist. God miraculously saved him and changed his life. He eventually became the pastor of a Pentecostal church and ultimately joined the Brethren in 2015.

Pastor Claver, as we call him, doesn’t have much education. He is though, a very gifted preacher, with a big heart. He works very hard as a bi-vocational pastor. Along with service to the church he is a carpenter and a farmer. His embodiment of a solid work ethic is powerful in an environment where many pastors are expecting others to do and provide for them. As a student at the Great Lakes Bible School (GLBS), Pastor Claver is learning English, applying previously learned Bible knowledge, and just as importantly, serving as a wonderful example for others.

One of the key teachings we are emphasizing in the Great Lakes Bible School is servant leadership. While pastors are indeed leaders of people, pastors are also servants. I suppose that most would recognize the importance of a pastor’s submission to the Master Jesus Christ. But all too often, leaders are subsequently expecting their church members to be in submission to them, rather than leading with the understanding that we all are in submission to each other (Ephesians 5:21).

Another important feature of GLBS is the mix of students and faculty. Age, education and experience range across the spectrum. At 66, I’m the oldest one. Our view is that the older ones will mentor the younger and that the younger bring energy and vitality. It has been heartwarming to watch the interactions among the students. The mentoring is quite obviously taking place, but the energy is also apparent, not only from the younger to the elder, but a mutual iron-sharpening-iron. Even though pastors like Claver are the seasoned ones, there is no attitude of superiority.

This past Sunday, Theoneste (principal/head teacher) and I, along with our two Burundian students made the road trip to Gasiza for morning worship. We arrived at 9 as the folks were just gathering. The music started promptly, with lots of dancing to accompany the singing. The four choirs took turns leading the congregation as the pastor intermittently spoke and read from the Scriptures. The guest preacher (me) shared for a half hour or so. After a closing song and prayer, the service concluded shortly before noon.

As the congregation dispersed, we stayed behind with the pastor and deacons. A feast was spread before us of beef, potatoes, rice, beans and Fanta. I noticed that neither the pastor nor his wife were eating. They were both busy ensuring that everyone else was taken care of. Finally, when all were served, they sat down to eat their own meal. I pointed this out to Theoneste. He said, “You’re right – they are servant leaders.” It is my prayer that all of our church leaders here in the Africa Great Lakes region will learn by their example.

Learn more about the Church of the Brethren in Rwanda at www.brethren.org/global or support the Office of Global Mission at www.brethren.org/givegms.

(Read this issue of eBrethren.)

It’s time to share

It’s time to share

A theme reflection and scriptural exegesis written by Rev. Barbara Essex for the 2023 One Great Hour of Sharing

“So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all.” ~Galatians 6:9-10, The Message

“Give a person a fish and you feed them for one day. Teach a person to fish and you feed them forever.”* The meaning of this phrase seems clear—take care of a need now or empower others to do for themselves. 

While the Apostle Paul does not talk about fishing or hunger or food insecurity in his letter to the Galatians, he does talk about how Christians are to live: generously helping and caring for others.  

In Paul’s day, more than half of the population lived at or below subsistence level, barely able to make ends meet. Many died prematurely due to malnutrition and ailments that resulted from lack of healthy and plentiful food. Most people—adults and children—experienced food insecurity.

Those who had money and power contributed to building roads and water systems, and hosted lavish banquets for their colleagues. Their public displays of generosity were often self-serving, though: the bigger and more public their acts of giving, the more they were esteemed in the eyes of those they wanted to impress. Acts of charity, on any scale to make a difference for those in need, were few and far between. Government safety nets were non-existent.

Paul understands that God raises the bar on community life—the care of the poor and vulnerable; the use of resources to benefit those who really need help; loving one’s neighbor; caring for the environment; and advocating social justice so all can live and thrive. For Paul, communities grounded in Jesus’ sacrificial life and death are to practice radical hospitality and generosity: making a place for all and using financial resources to help those who really need help. Community life means meeting immediate needs (giving fish) and working for long-term progress (teaching to fish). Food security requires both.

Paul also understands that radical hospitality and generosity are tiring. The needs of people keep growing. The call to help and to share is insistent, urgent, unending, exhausting. Paul reminds the Galatians that their communities are different; they are shaped and sustained by God’s Spirit. Their loving acts are responses to God’s own loving acts towards each of them. God keeps on giving, and so should they.

Paul compares sacrificial, communal love to harvesting. So much is needed for a bountiful harvest, and anything can disrupt its outcome. Embedded in harvesting is fatigue, uncertainty, and anxiety—yet, the planting, pruning, and tending are done as one waits, in hope, for the outcome. 

Paul encourages the Galatians, and us, to look at the bigger picture. Guided and strengthened by God’s Spirit, we are called to work, plant, grow, and produce until the final harvest day—the harvest that marks the fulfillment of God’s Reign, already started and yet to be completed in God’s own time.

Perhaps we grow weary because we do not know if our efforts truly make a difference. Will our dollars improve the devastating effects of climate change? Will our contributions feed every hungry person in the world? Do our ministries adequately address the spiritual needs of our community? How can we know if our gifts are worth it?

The One Great Hour of Sharing of the Church of the Brethren answers these questions. Whether a person has hunger in their body or soul, the work we do together as the body of Christ can make a difference. Your gifts help the Global Food Initiative and Brethren Disaster Ministries to respond to immediate and long-term hunger issues, no matter the cause, both locally and globally. With the help of your partnership, Discipleship Ministries and Global Mission offer hope in places near and far.

We cannot physically be everywhere or see all the results with our own eyes, but through your generous offerings and special gifts, you help promote the loving community that Paul advocates. Through One Great Hour of Sharing YOU are reaching into the world; working in partnership with people we will never meet, yet with whom we are connected. Your contributions are transforming lives for generations to come and are part of the harvest into which Paul invites us. Your gifts bring the reign/kindom of God closer to us all.

We can make a difference. We do make a difference. Your generosity makes all the difference in the world.

There is power in doing good and changing the lives of others. We cannot grow weary or quit—lives are at stake. God’s Spirit energizes and re-energizes us when we get tired. God helps us to help others.

The need has never been greater. Let us continue this good work. Let us stay energized. Let us give generously. The opportunity is now. It’s time to share.

Find this and other worship resources for the 2023 One Great Hour of Sharing (suggested date: March 19) at www.brethren.org/oghs or give an offering today at www.brethren.org/giveoffering.

– – –
* A version of this phrase appeared 138 years ago in Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie’s novel, Mrs. Dymond, believed to be the first instance of its use.

(Read this issue of eBrethren.)

One Great Hour of Sharing 2023

Worship resources for the 2023 One Great Hour of Sharing of the Church of the Brethren

Freedom through the darkness

By David Steele, general secretary

“Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.” -Acts 4:32

After more than two years of pandemic-related limitations, I have returned to a more robust travel schedule. I share the sentiment of many that it is good to be gathered together again. Yet amid the celebratory spirit, there are also undertones of uncertainty, loss, and even trauma. It has been a difficult several years for the Church of the Brethren and its members.

As I was called into my first congregation as a pastor 30 years ago, I would have never imagined the church as it is today. Declining attendance, membership, and a waning commitment to the church were evident and real in the two congregations where I served those many years ago, but not the significant challenges I see the church is experiencing: the significant need for pastors and district executives and leaders; the distrust of the denomination and really anyone outside our local congregation that compounds a growing sense of isolation; the sharpening theological divide fueled by assumptions, social media, and political or social agendas; the diminishing ability to articulate a language of faith and discipleship; the vanishing of our distinctive Brethren witness; and the splintering of the larger church as local congregations withdraw, resulting in some instances of split congregations and families. Our current challenges didn’t just spring up overnight or recently—they have been in the making for years.

Much of my time and the church’s focus during my tenure as General Secretary has been on soul-sapping conflict. Along with other denominational and district leaders, I have spent countless hours prayerfully discussing, researching, discerning, and editing many, many emails and letters. I have met with numerous individuals, groups, and congregations to discuss the typical topics of concern in the Church of the Brethren (sexuality, authority of scripture, accountability, and fracturing of the church). There are other issues, but by far, these have dominated my denominational focus, time, and emotional energy.

There is an illustration in Robert J. Miller’s Lectio Divina series “Fire in the Deep,” of a man stuck in a cave who became so narrowly focused on a hole in the roof that he missed the opportunity to find the true freedom that was hidden in the darkness. I resonate with this story because I believe that we, like other denominations, have convinced ourselves that there is only one way out of our disagreements; therefore, we have been so narrowly focused on solving, addressing, and working to unify the whole of the church around a singular definitive answer that we have missed the freedom hidden in the darkness.

The book of Acts provides a glimpse of a church with a clear sense of unity and purpose–communal sharing that leads to the needs of all being met. Luke, the writer of Acts, emphasizes this sense of togetherness and common ownership at the conclusion of the Pentecost story. This glimpse of the early church is provocative and is less about selling all of our possessions and goods, and more about the radical generosity that was fueled by a love of God and neighbor, and a passionate responsibility to care for those in need.

Have we been so focused on our small holes that we avoided facing the shadows of crisis? I’m convinced we see the decline in membership—and have for 30 years—because of our waning commitments to adapt in ministry and love our neighbors radically. In recent years we have been so preoccupied with scrutinizing every word and action of nearby churches and pastors—or those of other communities and districts—and with seeking ways to hold others accountable that we have neglected our responsibility to care for our neighborhoods and invite people to life-changing conversion. This is about loving all of our brothers and sisters, not limited to those in our own congregations or those we agree with—a love without boundaries. The church in Act shows us that the simple expression of loving our neighbors becomes a radical generosity that unifies us and becomes a tangible sign that authenticates the message of Jesus.

Friends, we need to face the crisis before us together. The hope of God’s community is found when lives are changed. Quite simply, our communities need Jesus. The program and instructions are simple, radical generosity that is born out of love—our love of God, our loving commitment to Christ, and our love of neighbor. The early church had an intense sense of responsibility for each other. It is time that we reclaim that responsibility as we approach the darkness together. May we together find the freedom awaiting us as we encounter and serve as Jesus in our neighborhoods.

Learn more about the faith-building and life-changing ministries of the Church of the Brethren at www.brethren.org/greatthings or support them today at www.brethren.org/give.

(Read this issue of eBrethren.)

A soundtrack of music


By Saudah Nassanga, Brethren Volunteer Service Unit #327

My first year in school was all about singing and dancing. When I was asked about what I studied, I would reply, “We did not study today, we were only singing.” Nowadays, when I listen to kids singing the same songs I sang, I am reminded of my kindergarten. I was actually learning through music because no one taught me numbers, colours, alphabets, etc. by word or notice; it was all about singing them in a song.

Music has the ability to deeply affect our mental states right from the womb and raise our mood. Music gives us energy, courage, inspiration, and motivation. The teachers in kindergarten find it easier to teach through music rather than talking because a song can be sung in a classroom, on the playground, on the way home, and maybe in the bathroom.

As a BVSer living with people with intellectual disabilities, I find music as a way to connect with and include others. Music empowers ways of working with individuals as they journey towards healing and improving social interaction. When I sing, every person joins in. We all come together to sing, be it for praise and worship, laughter, good information. We might be different, but music binds us regardless of where you come from, which language you speak, or your status.

As I am serving my time at L’Arche Kilkenny, it just happens that I get sad, motivated, inspired, and sometimes very hopeful and courageous for the decision I made. My life here is just like a soundtrack of music.

This article was originally featured in the summer issue of The Volunteer newsletter published by Brethren Volunteer Service. Learn more about this Core Ministry of the Church of the Brethren at www.brethren.org/bvs or support its ministry at www.brethren.org/givebvs.

(Read this issue of eBrethren.)

An unlikely friendship


By Paige Butzlaff, pen pal with Death Row Support Project (DRSP) of the Church of the Brethren

Writing comes naturally to me, and writing letters is a hobby I have loved since I was a young girl. When I was 16 and in high school, I discovered DRSP and chose to sign up without knowing what kind of impact it would have on me. I was paired with a man at the San Quentin State Prison by the name of Noel: a man a couple of decades older than I am, and one I (wrongly) assumed I couldn’t relate to. Flash forward to today: It’s been over a decade since I started writing to Noel. We’re pen pals, friends, and yet strangers who have never met.

It has truly been a remarkable experience writing to Noel. We know so much about each other, but I still have not yet seen him in person. Noel is faithful, strong, resilient, compassionate, thoughtful, and patient. He trusts in himself and his good heart and believes he will be set free. I wholeheartedly believe that too. I don’t need to know the elusive “why?”  that put him in prison. It never mattered to me, to be honest. What mattered was his heart and the way he talks about his life—a life that is just as valuable as any other.

We have both changed over the years and I have blossomed into the adult I am now. My naiveté gave me the grace to ask questions and accept differences. Noel had mentioned he was looking for a romantic partner, but I didn’t feel put off by that. My intentions going into this pen pal experience were to build a unique friendship and to help someone in need of a support system, and that has never changed. I have always appreciated Noel and valued our friendship so much, even after all these years and multiple address changes.

Miscommunication can happen easily through pen and paper, and it was something that, at one point, created a little uneasiness in our friendship. During one particular time, Noel felt abandoned by me because I had become engaged to a man I didn’t tell him about. There were certain things I refrained from telling Noel simply because I like having some privacy. My relationships with men were something that felt private to me, even though I would briefly mention things to Noel to give him updates on my life. My understanding from some of his letters was that he felt jealous and upset by my relationships, but I always assured him that I hadn’t changed and I would continue writing.

Regardless of what Noel envisioned me to be once we started writing, I am certain he still values our friendship as highly as I do. He stopped writing to me for a couple of months to “give me space” after our miscommunication. I told him how saddened I was to not receive his letters anymore. I told him how much I looked forward to them. I communicated to him about how I needed to live my life authentically, and that meant I would continue doing what makes me happy. He accepted what I had to say and wanted to continue our special friendship. He supported me and still does to this day. Noel will always be cheering me on, even from the sidelines.

Seeking empathy helped me step into his shoes—shoes shackled with chains. I now realize how deep his loneliness must be, how frustrating relationships are for him because of his forced limitations in prison, how people may come and go in his life and he may not know why, and how sad and hopeless it might feel to never have the life you imagined for yourself. I am hopeful Noel will be released soon and truly live his life to the fullest, with or without a partner and family of his own. But I can confidently say that we are family, through thick and thin. I’ve told Noel that I see him as a wise uncle figure, but most importantly I see him as a lifelong friend. I’m honored and proud to say that he is not just a pen pal, but a true friend for life.

This testimony was originally featured in an email newsletter by the Death Row Support Project, connected to the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy of the Church of the Brethren. Learn more about the Death Row Support Project at www.brethren.org/drsp or support its ministry today.

(Read this issue of eBrethren.)

Do not be afraid

By Traci Rabenstein, director of Mission Advancement

“Do not be afraid, [Church of the Brethren]; be glad and rejoice. Surely the Lord has done great things!” ~Joel 2:21, modified

It has been six years since I began working for the Church of the Brethren denomination. Six years that have been filled with a lot of ups and downs, joys and sorrows, frustrations and celebrations. My work as director of Mission Advancement gives me the opportunity to talk with a lot of different people from across our church body. Those in lay leadership serving as deacons, church treasurers, witness chairs, board chairs, leadership team chairs, and the like. I’ve spoken with pastors and congregation moderators, and district executives, and office staff. I’ve shared a meal or coffee with “people in the pews” who give generously towards the missions and ministries of the church. It’s rewarding work. It’s work that, most times, fills my soul and gives me the energy to continue Mission Advancement’s work of interpreting and educating the ways in which we are the hands and feet of Christ in this world. Yet, there are times when the noise of our world and even voices among us drown out what is typically fulfilling work.

In those moments of frustration, when phone calls, emails, and conversations are centered around the distrust of the work of denominational staff (“Elgin”), misunderstandings of how contributions are used, the misuse of statements that were developed as a means to aid us in living together as community, and the confusing narrative shared by some who were once entrusted to guide the church in the ways of Jesus, the Spirit nudges me to lean into the Word in an effort to remain encouraged and strengthened.

I believe we find ourselves, again, in the times the Church has been warned about through the writings of Paul, James, Peter, Jude, and others whose letters form the New Testament. A time when the Church is called to be “awake and watchful,” aware of what is going on around and within our body so that we might live in a Christ-like manner in which we are not “conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2). It is easy to get caught up in negative narratives (of “no way forward” or “continued decline”) and allow accusations to deter the work of the Spirit that can lead us to new growth. But I would respond, in a loud voice, in the spirit of Deuteronomy 31:8:  The Lord goes before us and will be with us; God won’t leave or forsake us; we need not be afraid or discouraged.

It’s encouraging to me that the New International Version mentions “do not be afraid” seventy-four (74) times. “Do not be afraid” was spoken to Mary, to Joseph, to Zechariah and Elizabeth, and to the shepherds in the fields. During Christ’s ministry, he told his disciples and others as he prepared for crucifixion and death to not fear. After the resurrection, an angel tells Mary Magdalene and the other women at the tomb to not be afraid. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we hear God tell His people, and us as adopted children, to not be afraid. “Fear not” is the message I echo to you in these days that precede our celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, our King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.

It is my hope that we will go into this new year saying to one another: “Do not be afraid! Be glad and rejoice! The Lord continues to do great things!” Look at all of the good work God has done through His Son, Jesus Christ, and how a new work is done within us because of our relationship with Him. I invite you to reflect on the good work the Lord has done through us, “The Not-so-Big Church.” From starting endeavors that now function on their own like Heifer International; to our work for conscientious objection; to the spreading of the gospel in Spain, Africa, Asia, South America, the Caribbean island of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Look at how God has blessed that work and how God’s kingdom has expanded through the Global Communion of the Church of the Brethren.

Even in the US, we have seen God’s provision and peace as we accompany those who have had their lives turned upside-down by natural disaster or horrific acts of violence in communities. Brethren Disaster Ministries and Children’s Disaster Service volunteers are ready when tough times come, to be of support and aid to those who are hurting, feeling lost and alone, have lost loved ones, or have nowhere else to turn. These are the places where we have met “Jesus in the neighborhood” and have continued his work. What we have accomplished in the name of Jesus for the size that we are is nothing short of miraculous. Instead of fearing the decline of our denomination, we instead claim, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?” (Hosea 13:14). Until Christ’s return, our work as his body is not done. Be glad and rejoice for the great things God still wants to do through us!

As this year concludes and a new year begins, Do not be afraid! Rejoice and be glad for God is doing a great thing in the Church of the Brethren!

Learn more about the faith-building, life-changing ministries of the Church of the Brethren at www.brethren.org/greatthings or give a year-end offering today at www.brethren.org/year-end-offering.

(Read this issue of eBrethren.)

Go and tell what you hear and see


By Matt DeBall, coordinator of Mission Advancement Communications
“Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see.’”
~Matthew 11:4

Everyone has a perspective worth sharing. Each day includes opportunities to complete a survey, to share our thoughts, to tell about your experience at a particular place. If we’re choosing between multiple restaurants to visit, for example, the testimonies of others who have visited previously can be helpful for us to consider.

Throughout the history of the family of faith, testimonies have been essential. Our words can inspire others to take another look at the ordinary parts of life and find God working in extraordinary ways. We share our testimony by the words that we share but also by how we live. Indeed, our prayer is that the things that we profess with the words of our mouths are revealed through the movements of our bodies as well.

When John the Baptist was in prison, he needed fresh data to renew his hope. Yes, even the wilderness prophet who baptized Jesus—who observed his humility, saw the Holy Spirit christen him, and heard God speak with affirmation about his identity—needed additional evidence about the mission of Jesus. John sent his followers to ask Jesus directly, seeking information from the source.

Inspiring faith and community discernment, Jesus didn’t simply give an answer. He invited John’s followers to recall, discover, and ask others who had encountered him to experience how God was moving in his ministry. Jesus invited them to observe for themselves and to go back and tell John what they heard and saw.

Within the Church of the Brethren, we offer our testimony by putting our time, energy, and resources toward partnering in our shared missions and ministries. We do this because we have heard and seen for ourselves how God is working among us. Sharing our testimony in word and deed provides the opportunity for others to participate in what God is doing—not just because we’ve told them, but because they, too, have gone out and experienced God’s redeeming work for themselves. Gifts to the Advent Offering support ministries like the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, Discipleship Ministries, Global Mission, Brethren Volunteer Service, and others that offer opportunities to grow in faith and offer encouragement to others.

Following the instruction of Jesus, we move forward to share of what we have heard and seen, with hope that others will be inspired to investigate, too. Everyone has a perspective worth sharing, and their testimony can restore the hope of others.

The Advent Offering highlights our passion in the Church of the Brethren to live out the holistic peace of Jesus. Unless otherwise allocated by donor preference, gifts to this offering support all Core Ministries of the denomination. Find more information and worship resources for the Advent Offering at www.brethren.org/adventoffering or give an offering today at www.brethren.org/giveoffering.

(Read this issue of eBrethren.)

We give thanks for you

“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” -Psalm 9:1

Even as the seasons change, we give thanks to the Lord wholeheartedly for you and for the wonderful deeds God reveals through the missions and ministries of the Church of the Brethren.

Your prayerful and financial support continue to sustain the work that we do together. As we walk by faith and go with God, we reveal Jesus in the neighborhood by: encouraging brothers and sisters near and far, feeding and sheltering those in need, entering into conversations to allow for healing from systematic brokenness, and serving others.

Thank you for your generous partnership in our ministries. May you have a very blessed Thanksgiving.

With gratitude and hope,

David A. Steele
General Secretary
and the staff and volunteers of the Church of the Brethren

Learn about our faith-building, life-changing ministries at www.brethren.org/greatthings.

(Read this issue of eBrethren.)