"This will be a historic conference--the 300th Anniversary of the Brethren movement as well as the first time in 125 years that the Church of the Brethren and the Brethren Church have held denominational conferences together," said 2008 Annual Conference moderator James M. Beckwith. He is challenging congregations to, "Come! Take part in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And bring others with you."
Beckwith has reiterated a challenge from the 300th Anniversary Committee that each congregation triple the number of its participants at Annual Conference. The moderator suggests three specific ways individuals and congregations may participate in the challenge to triple participation:
- Invite at least one person who is not active in the Body of Christ to come into a life of faith as a partner with you in continuing the work of Jesus--the Great Commission Challenge issued at the 2007 Annual Conference. If you can bring that person with you to Annual Conference (in 2008), what a wonderful opportunity it will be for him or her to encounter the missions and ministries of the Body of Christ!
- Make a connection with someone from a congregation that has not been as active in the larger church. If you are coming to Conference, perhaps you can connect with a congregation that has not sent someone to Annual Conference in recent years and invite one of its participants to travel with you or to share lodging with you, or even just to sit with you at Conference events. Even if you are not able to come to Richmond, the 300th Anniversary is a key time to make connections with others who share our common origin in the Eder River baptisms of 1708.
- Make a connection with someone in upcoming generations--a child or a youth or a young adult. Encourage them to experience Annual Conference. It will be a special time for them to help launch the Brethren movement into our fourth century.
Source: 3/20/2008 Newsline