Brethren in Christ Study Conference 2021
The 2021 Brethren in Christ study conference will be held virtually on November 5, 2021.
It will focus on the theme "Living Our Faith: Exploring Brethren in Christ Core Practices."
About This Year's Conference
This study conference will explore the importance of core practices for the Brethren in Christ. It will encourage leaders and laypeople to consider such questions as:
- What is the theological importance of habit, and what is habit’s role in Christian discipleship?
- What habits and “core practices” of Christian faithfulness have characterized the Brethren in Christ Church in the past?
- What contemporary habits and “core practices” characterize Brethren in Christ congregations today?
- What might it look like to articulate a set of Brethren in Christ core practices?
Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of our community, this year’s study conference will be held online via Zoom.
Major Conference Sessions and Speakers
Session #1: The Spiritual Power of Habit for Christians
Dr. J. Robert Douglass • Senior Pastor, Dillsburg (Pa.) BIC
This session will provide a theological framework for our examination and exploration of Brethren in Christ core practices by offering a “theology of habit.” It will consider how our habits, routines and other embodied activities shape our hearts and offer transformative possibilities in making Christian disciples.
Session #2: Historical Core Practices Among Brethren in Christ
Dr. John R. Yeatts • Professor Emeritus, Messiah University & Pastor Emeritus, Grantham (Pa.) Church
This session will examine Brethren in Christ history to identify the practices that historically shaped us as a church community, from plain dress to love feasts and more. It will show how core practices have long been part of our heritage, and have changed over time.
Session #3: Contemporary Core Practices in the Local Congregation (Panel Discussion)
In this session, panelists will share a “core practice” used in their congregation and how it helps shape Christian disciples. These living examples will help us to imagine what a list of Brethren in Christ core practices might look like.
Session #4: How Should We State Our Core Practices? (Panel Discussion)
As part of the “Project 250” initiative leading up to our sestercentennial denominational anniversary, Brethren in Christ U.S. leaders have committed articulating “core practices” as part of our shared commitment to “reaffirming our identity as a community of Christ followers.” In this session, several speakers will anticipate this process by answering the question, “What should we be thinking about when it comes to discerning and naming core practices as Brethren in Christ?” They will offer inspiration and wise counsel church leaders seeking to fulfill our 2028 vision.