This year the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference will be held in Columbus, OH from July 2-6. Each year the leaders of the conference develop a theme in which they hope will help frame the mood of the conference and assist the delegates as they do the work of the church. The theme for this year’s conference is “Live as Courageous Disciples.”
Nancy Sollenberger Heishman is the moderator for the conference and she has this to say about the theme: “The times in which we live call for boldness, for courage, for fearless living that is faithful to the word and life of Jesus Christ. The world around us is hungry and thirsty for living examples of lives radically committed to following Jesus. More than ever, the church needs to be a community in which Jesus’ disciples spur one another on to live courageously in this world.
My dream for this coming year is that we will take steps toward living out the beginning of our denominational vision statement, which is: “Through scripture Jesus calls us to live as courageous disciples in word and action.”
As Sollenberger Heishman indicates, the theme for this year’s Annual Conference picks up on the Church of the Brethren Vision statement that was adopted by the delegates of the 2012 Annual Conference. You may recall that in 2012, following that year’s Annual Conference, we spent some time during worship interpreting and reflecting upon this vision statement. Allow me to repeat it here:
Through Scripture, Jesus calls us to
live as courageous disciples by word and action:
To surrender ourselves to God,
To embrace one another,
To express God’s love for all creation.
As this year’s Annual Conference demonstrates, a key element in our overall vision statement as a denomination is “to live as courageous disciples by word and action.” May we all aspire to be courageous disciples as we continue the work of Jesus locally and through our district and denominational ministry efforts.