District Board Statement
In the fall of 2017, the Pacific Northwest District was indirectly called into a national conversation about credentialing and the authority of the Church of the Brethren’s Annual Conference, about conflicts and differences across our denomination. No requests were made of us, nor were we addressed directly, although actions of those in our district were a topic of conversation. At our District Conference in September, many of us sought to respond from a place of grounding and integrity. We believe that our God who became incarnate, enfleshed, human, invites us to be fully human, decent, and vulnerable with one another. We are far from perfect, but this we believe:
The Pacific Northwest District of the Church of the Brethren is following our sacred call to build an inclusive church, to nurture faith communities where the love of Christ, transformative community, and grace of the Spirit are available to all seekers. Please join us! We are excited to support the new fellowship Wildwood Gathering, along with Living Stream online church and our other more established congregations. Do you have a vision for healing, relevant, love-and-justice ministry in our time and place? Do you or someone you know have gifts for ministry that our district might call out and nurture? Let’s have a conversation. Let’s listen deeply to one another and to Spirit.
It is a strange time in our country, in our denomination, in the world. Old ways of doing things are changing; new ways are not quite revealed; ancient values beckon. We know that God is still actively at work among us. Strong communities where we share transparently, engage conflict healthfully, pray and read scripture together, stand up to injustice, celebrate and serve together– these spaces are needed now.
In our own struggles, the Pacific Northwest District realized we have already identified values that serve us, and we believe will continue to serve us well. Here is our Mission Statement, from 2011:
Our focus is threefold:
1. To nurture the church, the body of Christ, as we grow spiritually
2. To witness God’s love to others
3. To be good stewards of the gifts God has given us
Core Values and Foundational Principles
We as a District:
Hold the New Testament as our guide in faith and practice. We value the interpretation and inspiration which springs from its study and shared experiences as guided by the living Christ. We
– conduct our business by discerning the “sense of the meeting.”
– empower and respect congregations and foster our inter-relatedness.
– support each other, respecting and embracing diversity, while seeking unity.
– nurture a sense of wholeness and possibility in everyone we meet.
– continue the struggle of growth and change.
– affirm the Brethren genius of holding in tension community and obedience with individual conscience
and Spiritual discernment.
– are God’s stewards in the world, continuing Jesus’ work; Peacefully, Simply, Together.
For more information, see also our 2016 District statement to the Annual Conference Leadership Team
Blessings of the vulnerable One, blessings of the holy One who comes from the edges and through the broken places. May 2018 be a year of compassion, courage, and glimmers of the Family of God in all Creation.
The Pacific Northwest District Board