An article in the Mennonite World Review details how the Church of the Brethren is seeking to expand relationships with other Anabaptist groups. The Church of the Brethren is the largest of the groups that traces its spiritual heritage to 1708 and Alexander Mack. The Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches also traces it’s spiritual roots to Alexander Mack. A portion of the story appears below. Click here to read the complete article.
Anabaptist siblings: Brethren renew historic connections with Mennonites
Since its founding in Germany in 1708, the Brethren stream of Anabaptism has been associated with Mennonites, particularly for their shared opposition to war. Yet both groups have often overlooked their connections. Now efforts are emerging to rectify that.
Mennonites and Brethren can together be better agents of reconciliation, said Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger, because of their “common tradition and desire to be a people of God’s shalom and Christ’s peace in a time of so much violence in the world.”
The Church of the Brethren is the largest Brethren body and the only one seeking to expand its relations with other Anabaptists. This year, for the first time, the denomination was included in Mennonite World Conference’s global census of Anabaptist groups, including those that aren’t MWC members. MWC counted only North American Brethren.
“It’s a symbolic move to re-emphasize the Anabaptist part of our heritage. It’s also a symbolic move to reaffirm a positive working relationship with Mennonites and other Anabaptists,” said Jeff Bach, director of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College.
Read the complete article here.