Greetings! Connect links the Brethren in Christ U.S. community in shared ministry and welcomes your feedback and suggestions. (Click "submit story ideas" below to share potential articles.)
2016 Week of Prayer and Fasting
As 2015 quickly comes to a close, we look ahead excitedly to all that God has for us in 2016. From January 3–10, 2016, the Brethren in Christ U.S. will observe our annual Week of Prayer and Fasting. This year's theme, "For this year . . . ", will provide eight daily reflections and prayers on how the Lord might be calling us forward in the New Year. Readers of Connect will receive a daily email with these resources.
New Threads Posts
Two new posts are live on the Threads blog. In one article, Alan Robinson expresses gratitude for participation in Cooperative Ministries—the stream of giving that enables our shared ministry. In another, he poses the question, "Is there a future for the Brethren in Christ in the United States?" Recapping a recent conference at Messiah College (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) exploring the future of denominations, he makes the case for why denominations are still relevant and important.
If you plan to do some Christmas shopping on Amazon this year, consider using your shopping to give back to the Brethren in Christ at no additional cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you'll have the same shopping experience you would on Amazon, with the added bonus that a portion (typically 0.5%) of the purchase price to a charity of your choice. Adding "General Conference of the Brethren in Christ Inc" as your charity is a great way to help support the BIC with your online shopping.
Finding God in the Urban Plunge
We often think of God as somehow most present in nature - among the birds, the trees, and the soft rustling of the wind. But what does it look like to see God in all creation? Led by Ryan Showalter of the Pacific Conference, a small group of 19 people set out last month for an "Urban Plunge," finding God in the hustle and bustle of city life. Shared in the recent Midwest and Pacific Conferences newsletter, Ryan writes about the group's experience of finding God not just in the green countryside, but in the concrete cityscape of Los Angeles. Read More »
Meet Julie Cook
A warm-hearted woman in her late-twenties, one doesn't have to spend long with Julie Cook to sense her passion for the unreached. Feeling drawn to missions work early on in her own life, Julie set out for a two-year term in Zambia at age 25. Now serving as a staff accountant with BIC U.S. World Missions, we caught up with Julie to talk about her time in Zambia and the experience of re-entry for a returning missionary. Ladies and gentlemen, Julie Cook »
Lights on for LifePath
Last year, a month away from their rented space being demolished, LifePath Church (BIC) in Newark, Del. had little more they could do than pray. In the recent Atlantic Conference newsletter, Keith Miller, pastor of LifePath, shares their journey of answered prayers and opened doors, and how they've been able to bless, and be blessed by, their new community. As a denominational family, we celebrate what God is doing in and through this congregation. Read more »
Join the Directed Study Program spring term
Equipping pastors and lay leaders with tools for impactful ministry is a BIC priority. One way we do this is through the Directed Study Program (DSP). The DSP consists of flexible, email-delivered courses developed and taught from a distinctively Brethren in Christ perspective. Spring term begins January 4 and runs until April 15, 2016. Learn More »
General Conference 2016 Confirmed at Stetson University
Officially confirmed, General Conference 2016 will be held at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. The conference dates are:
Missionary Family Retreat: July 5-7, 2016
Ministry Enrichment Retreat: July 7-8, 2016
Bible Quizzing: July 8-10, 2016
General Conference: July 9-11, 2016
Further information regarding pricing will be available in the near future.
Overview of Leadership Meetings
During September and October, BIC U.S. leadership teams (Leadership Council, General Conference Board, and the Commission on Ministry and Doctrine) met for their fall meetings. We are grateful for the work of the many individuals who serve on these various teams, and think it will serve the entire church and support our value of community to provide a summary of the discussions and decisions made. Read more »