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Stories of Brethren stewards * April 19, 2017


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AC prayer 2016
Photo by Glenn Riegel

Anticipating Annual Conference
By Chris Douglas, conference director

I have looked forward to Annual Conference each and every summer since I became a member of the Church of the Brethren in the 1970s.

I remember so vividly an Annual Conference more than twenty years ago in which we saw story after story in David Sollenberger’s videos in the General Board Live Report of what the Church of the Brethren was doing in mission around the world. Then at the close of the live report, we stood and sang together, “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.” I remember thinking, “all of the work of the church that I just saw really is MY story.”
Risk Hope AC17
Register for Annual Conference
2017 at www.brethren.org/ac .



There are many reasons why I love Annual Conference. It’s the place I see friends I only see once a year. It’s a place where we gather as a community to reflect on what it means to be Brethren and where we fellowship together, including with Brethren from around the world. And worship at Annual Conference is where we celebrate God’s majesty and holiness. Last summer I got goose bumps every time we sang, “Light of the World, into our darkness come.” We sang this at the opening of each worship time while candles were carried around the worship hall through the darkness. It was a wonderful reminder to be open to God’s leading.

This year’s theme, “Risk Hope”, is especially timely. Moderator Carol Scheppard’s monthly Bible studies have reminded us, “As we face the various storms of our times we gain strength and hope from the stories of God’s people in exile in Babylon.” When it is most difficult to find hope is the exact time that we must risk hope. This theme invites us to become a people who embody hope.

I am so grateful each summer when we can come together in person with our sisters and brothers to worship, sing, conduct business and fellowship together. Annual Conference also provides webcasting for persons who cannot be present so that, even from far away, Brethren can join in times of business and worship.

At its best, Annual Conference reminds us of who God is calling us to be as the body of Christ in the world. In the words of our mission statement: “Annual Conference exists to unite, strengthen, and equip the Church of the Brethren to follow Jesus.” In Grand Rapids this summer, may we take hold of the opportunities to unite, strengthen, and equip ourselves to follow Jesus!

Learn more or register for this year’s Annual Conference at www.brethren.org/ac .
 



Youth Sunday 2017
www.brethren.org/
youthsunday



National Youth
Sunday 2017


“May we celebrate a faith
that is as ancient as the
stones around us and as
relevant as the air we breathe.”


—A benediction written by
Rachel Witkovsky &
David Witkovsky
for National Youth Sunday
on May 7.

www.brethren.org/youthsunday

 


“Jesus says the greatest command is to love God,
and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
If we aren’t loving ourselves well, we won’t
be loving our neighbors well either.”

—Anna Lisa Gross in “The stories we tell” from
the April issue of Messenger magazine.

 

April 2017 MSG
 


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Donor Relations department photo 2Matt DeBall, John Hipps, Mark Flory Steury,
Cherise Glunz, and Traci Rabenstein.

Watch for our
next issue on
May 3
.

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eBrethren: Stories of Brethren Stewards is produced every other week by the Donor Relations department of the Church of the Brethren.

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