The Church of the Brethren is a Christian denomination founded in the early 1700's in Germany. Brethren believe in the basic tenets of Christianity, with particular emphasis on peace and reconciliation, simple living, integrity of speech, family values and service to neighbors near and far. Church congregations tend to be small and feel more like extended family.
The central emphasis of the Church of the Brethren is not a creed, but a commitment to follow Christ in simple obedience, to be faithful disciples in the modern world. As do most other Christians, the Brethren believe in God as Creator and loving Sustainer. We confess the Lordship of Christ, and we seek to be guided by the Holy Spirit in every aspect of life, thought, and mission.We hold the New Testament as our guidebook for living, affirming with it the need for lifelong and faithful study of the Scriptures. Brethren believe that God has revealed an unfolding purpose for the human family and the universe through the Hebrew Scriptures (or Old Testament), and fully in the New Testament. We hold the New Testament as the record of the life, ministry, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and of the beginnings of the life and thought of the Christian church.
From Brethren .org website.
Members of Christ Our Shepherd believe that Jesus Christ is God's Son and have accepted Him as Lord and Savior of their lives. They promise to turn from sin and to live in faithfulness to God and to the church, taking the example and teachings of Jesus as a model. In obedience to Christ we are baptized by triune immersion, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Two times a year we celebrate Brethren Love Feast, which is full communion. During this service, based on the Last Supper of Christ, we wash one another's feet, partake in a small meal and share communion (the bread and cup). Monthly we share a simple communion together during our Sunday service.
We believe in anointing with oil for healing as described in James 5:13-16 13 Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer [l]offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
It is easy to talk about faith and never get around to doing anything. So the continuing call is to “walk the talk.” Alexander Mack, the leader of the earliest Brethren, insisted that they could be recognized “by the manner of their living.”Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, then, affects everything that we say and do. Obedience—meaning obedience of Jesus—has been a key word among Brethren. What we do in the world is just as important as what we do in the church. Christ’s style of self-giving love is the example we are called to follow in all our relationships.That belief shows itself in the giving nature of Brethren. We respond quickly to need. We send money and volunteers to disaster sites. We support soup kitchens, day-care centers, and homeless shelters in our communities. Thousands of people have served around the world through Brethren Volunteer Service. People often know the Brethren through our ministries of compassion.We believe following Christ means following his example of serving others, healing the broken, and bringing new life and hope to the despairing. We take seriously Jesus’ call to love all people, including the “enemy.”In fact, the Church of the Brethren is known as one of the Historic Peace Churches. .In our concern for the well-being of neighbors near and far, Brethren have begun creative programs to enable the world’s poor to walk toward a better life. Heifer Project International (providing livestock for poor families) and SERRV International (supporting craft producers in developing countries), for example, were both begun by Brethren before they grew into ecumenical ministries.
From Brethren.org website
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