Friends, at the end of March a new committee within the Church of the Brethren gathered – the Vision Committee. 8 folks, 4 representing denominational agencies and 4 nominated by Standing Committee, gathered to start considering what the 10 year vision for the Church of the Brethren was, with the goal of having it ready to go by Annual Conference 2011. I am blessed to be a member of that committee, along with Bekah Houff, another CoB young adult.

Instead of going through the usual process of having influential members of the denomination fill out another survey, and quietly craft a vision to be brought forth in 2011, we thought it would be a bit more effective to just write a vision statement – and then see what the denomination thought!  So, that is what we have done. This statement is in NO WAY final.  It is a statement to be edited, for you to have input in,  and to hopefully look almost nothing like what it does now when it comes before Annual Conference for adoption. This statement will be making the rounds of CoB folks – it has already been at Young Adult Conference, for instance, where the conversation and input was phenomenal – and will be at NYC, and Annual Conference, and, well, all over the place. As many places as we can think of and possibly be.

And, it is also here. Below is the first draft of the vision statement. Let us know what you think – what doesn’t fit? What is missing? Does this jive with who you think you are as a member of the Church of the Brethren? Try to avoid word-smithing (the time for that will come later!) – but give us the big picture. This is about your vision, after all, and we want to hear from you. Use the comments section, or shoot a longer comment to the email address vision@brethren.org. One final note – this is a pretty short statement, and that is on purpose. Resources will be developed so that this can be used and integrated into congregations, districts, ect. Ok, thanks!  And I, for one, am interested to know what you think!

Inspired, challenged and shaped by the New Testament, we have decided to follow Jesus.

We will live as courageous disciples, nurtured in dynamic and missional congregations.

We are led by the Holy Spirit, called to model God’s reconciliation to all creation with words and deeds.

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