Our theme, “It’s the end of the world as we know it” invites us into a process of reflection and action as we cope with mounting layers of acute grief and deferred loss, then rise up as we seek to engage and celebrate community in new and meaningful ways.
Without a doubt, many would agree 2020 has been a challenging and stressful year. Living with a pandemic in our midst has brought changes to familiar and ordinary activities such as grocery shopping, educating our children, meeting friends in restaurants, attending in person worship and visiting our friends and loved ones, whether they be in hospitals, nursing homes or our neighborhood. It’s also been a year of change within the Church of the Brethren. Annual Conference did not meet. Many church camp were closed or had reduced programming. Several congregations across the denomination have chosen to “break” with us and form a new corporation, Covenant Brethren Church. District conferences are being held virtually.
Through it all, Mary Scott-Boria invites us to pray for the heaviness of the past four years and celebrate our kinship and inclusion in the beloved community as together we work for racial equality, justice and the things that make for peace. Ruth Nalliah shares her dream for a more inclusive and authentic church. Laura Hammonds shares affirmation of her faith through poetry and prose. Check out the QR code on page six which links to her poem on the Womaen’s Caucus website.
Christy Waltersdorff’s Pentecost Sunday sermon reminds us of the importance of breath, and helps us reflect on the trauma of George Floyd’s death and asks the provocative question, “So when did the Church stop breathing?”
The Womaen’s Caucus steering committee invites us to grieve our losses, and then take action to create a new way of being the Beloved Community. Two newly formed partnerships are providing tools and training to help us move forward: Caucus Podcasts continues the conversation on Speaking Truth to Power through our partnership with Messenger Radio; and Womaen’s Caucus and On Earth Peace are working together to challenge sexism and racism in the Church of the Brethren. Matt Guynn and other facilitators will lead a webinar on nonviolence, the social dynamics of nonviolence and briefly introduce the 6 principles and 6 steps of Kingian Nonviolence. A link is provided to register for the upcoming event on November 10th. Anna Lisa Gross reminds us “birthing” involves “breathing” and “pushing” and it is our hope these two resources aid us in creating positive change in the Church of the Brethren.
The Steering Committee wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year. Stay healthy! Be well, and one last thing, VOTE!