Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Committee receives challenge from American Baptists.

The Committee on Interchurch Relations (CIR) met at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., on Sept. 6-8. Planning for CIR-sponsored activities at the 2008 Annual Conference was a major portion of the agenda. The group also received a challenge from its American Baptist counterpart to encourage interaction between Brethren and Baptists.

In light of the 300th Anniversary of the Brethren and the joint activities with the Brethren Church at the 2008 Annual Conference, the CIR is pursuing speakers and topics that will give the two denominations opportunity to explore their common history and be challenged in their current understandings. The Brethren Church will be invited to have a presence at the Ecumenical Luncheon, and an insight session sponsored by the CIR will focus on interfaith stories of courage, hope, and love from the past 300 years of the Brethren movement.

Dr. Jerry Cain, the CIR’s American Baptist representative and president of Judson College in Elgin, shared a report on current activities in his denomination. He announced that in the most recent meeting of the Committee on Church Unity, the American Baptist counterpart to the CIR, challenges were issued to the CIR for intentional interactions with the Brethren through colleges and congregations. These events will offer opportunities for Brethren and Baptists to get to know each other better. The CIR accepted the challenge and is looking forward to more grassroots activity between the two denominations.

Stan Noffsinger, general secretary of the General Board, reported on the work of Christian Churches Together, the National Council of Churches, the World Council of Churches, and an upcoming conference of the Historic Peace Churches to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia. Brethren who plan to participate at the upcoming conference include members of the churches in India and Nigeria.

Committee members in attendance at the meeting were Ilexene Alphonse of Miami, Fla.; Melissa Bennett of Fort Wayne, Ind.; Jim Eikenberry of Stockton, Calif.; Michael Hostetter of Englewood, Ohio; Rene Quintanilla of Fresno, Calif.; and Carolyn Schrock of Mountain Grove, Mo.

--Carolyn Schrock is a member of the Committee on Interchurch Relations.

Source: 10/10/2007 Newsline

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