I’ve grown up in the Church of the Brethren. I was raised on twice-a-year bread and broth soup and sneaking the extra Body and Blood of Jesus off the tables after communion. I remember going on the school bus after my first Love Feast and Feetwashing assuming all my other Christian friends had done the same thing. It was the first time it dawned on me that our expression of Christian faith was a little strange.
As with most things that we become familiar with, I often wasn’t able to see the peculiarity and uniqueness of the Brethren expression of faith. I attended a Christian college (associated with Evangelical Friends, who have their own unique heritage) and really began to grasp a deeper appreciation for other expressions of Christian faith as well as my own faith heritage. I spent a few years in college serving a Mennonite congregation, but in the end I returned to the Church of the Brethren. For me it’s home. I found myself connecting more and more with Christian faith as expressed by the Anabaptist/Pietist practitioners.
Some of you reading this might be tracking along with me. You’ve been immersed (three times forward of course) in the Brethren milieu your entire lives. When I talk about what makes the Brethren unique you envision baptism, washing feet, or maybe service to neighbors. You know that I just attended Annual Conference, formerly the Big Meeting. You know that NYC, happens every four years in Colorado, and isn’t some city in the state of New York.
Hopefully others of you are still reading at this point, because you’re not quite sure what I’m talking about. Maybe you’ve come to Spring Creek for a whole host of reasons. A friendly atmosphere. Ministry for children and teens. A focus on Jesus as presented in Scripture. Whatever your reason, I’m glad you’re here.
For all of us, it’s helpful to be reminded from time to time about who we are and why we are that way. It’s helpful for those raised in it, and it’s helpful for those who have joined us along the way. In August we’ll be looking at a catch phrase used in the Church of the Brethren for a number of years. Continuing the work of Jesus peacefully, simply, together. It’s far from a perfect summary, but it does give us a glimpse into a way of following Jesus which Spring Creek has been a part of for more than 170 years! Join us as we look at a few of the core practices of a radical expression of faith.