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As I begin my new position as Director of Spiritual Life and Discipleship another question comes to mind:

If you could identify two practices or beliefs that are central to Brethren Spirituality, what would they be?”

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A great conversation has spontaneously erupted over on Facebook and I’m following up on the suggestion to open the conversation up to the “wider world” outside of our Facebook friends lists.

It all started when Josh Brockway posed the question:

Is the Church of the Brethren congregational or connectional in polity?

He later clarified  his meanings with:

Congregational- the local congregation is free to act autonomously and is thus the primary locus of decision making within the denomination. (Think American Baptist)

Connectional- the local congregation is related to a wider network of constituencies. Thus decisions are made in reference and understanding of the wider denomination. (Think United Methodist)

Comments thus far have been all over the board, from “connectional in polity, congregational in practice” to “congregational in polity, connectional in practice” and many points in between. Read the rest of this entry »