Church of the Brethren
Annual Conference 2018 logo: Living Parables
Church of the Brethren
Annual Conference

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Please note that there will be a
Friday Afternoon Business Session from 2:00 to 4:30
which was inadvertently omitted from the conference booklet.


Samuel Sarpiya

Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!               -Matthew 9: 35-38, The Message

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

As we prepare for Annual Conference 2018, I am on my knees and praying for you. Look around, the people are hurting and lost and I have prayed that the Lord send helpers to join me in His work. You, coming to Cincinnati are the ones called to the fields – you are the ones gifted to harvest, to shepherd, to heal and to teach.

The theme for our conference is Living Parables, a reminder that our lives are shaped with the values and lessons Christ taught in his parables, calling us to be the living continuation of His work. We gather as the workers that Jesus prayed to come to the field, to follow in His footsteps proclaiming the good news and healing. Yet, we are also the lost sheep for which he came, aimless and confused when we turn away from our shepherd. And we are also a part of the ripe field, ready for a renewal in the Word.

Program and Arrangements Committee has prepared activities and opportunities for fellowship, spiritual growth, and relevant learning.  We will also begin the Compelling Vision Process.  A team guiding this work will lead one-and-a-half business sessions that have been set aside to help us think about how we can embody workers before an abundant harvest.

Some translations of the Scripture say that Jesus had compassion on the crowds. We are the ones who have received that compassion and are called to look to others with the same compassion. As we come together I pray that you have the strength for the harvest and the compassion to be gentle with the fruit. I invite you to prepare yourself spiritually and physically for what lies ahead of us.  May God’s blessing be with you: the parable and God’s earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you in Cincinnati.

In the Masters Service,
Samuel Sarpiya  
2018 Annual Conference Moderator

Next week's email blast focuses on the business and ballot for Annual Conference 2018.

Go to to register for Annual Conference in Cincinnati. 
Advanced online registration ends June 11!

Church of the Brethren Annual Conference | 1451 Dundee Ave. | Elgin, IL 60120
Chris Douglas, Conference Director | | 800-323-8039, ext. 364 or 847-429-4364
Jon Kobel, Conference Assistant | | 800-323-8039, ext. 365 or 847-429-4365
Debbie Noffsinger, Registration Coordinator | | 800-323-8039, ext. 366 or 847-429-4366

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