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The following terms reflect the culture of the Church of the Brethren, a denomination grounded on the principles of Anabaptism and founded through the Pietist efforts of Alexander Mack, in the summer of 1708 near the small German village of Schwarzenau. This resource is not an exhaustive compilation of all denominational terminology, which might also be garnered from other Brethren works, such as the Brethren Encyclopedia, Brethren Bibliography, European Origins, Brethren in America, Ephrata Cloister, 19th Century Acculturation, Brethren Timeline, Brethren Groups, and Brethren Genealogy. You are encouraged to share your comments, suggestions, or corrections with the Web Administrator.


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Camping Ministries

Most of the twenty-four districts of the Church of the Brethren own and operate their own church camp. A few of the larger districts have more than one camp location, and some districts offer more than one program. For example, one district may offer a "white-water rafting" program where campers are transported to a distant river, while their "caving" program may send other campers several miles to a distant cave for fun and exploration.

Christian Citizenship Seminar

An annual event, sponsored by the Youth/Young Adult Ministry of the General Board, targeting high school age youth, with information about what it means to be a good citizen. Activities are held in both Washington D.C. and New York City.

Church of the Brethren Credit Union (COBCU)

A non-profit organization offering savings accounts, certificates of deposits, and personal loans to Church of the Brethren employees, congregations, and related institutions. Originally known as the Brethren Employees Credit Union, a name change to Church of the Brethren Credit Union (COBCU) took place on April 1, 2004, and administered by Brethren Benefit Trust. But after years of managing small assets that were impacted by a disappointing economy and a declining loan market, COBCU decided to merge with a larger credit union. That merger was finalized on June 1, 2011 with Corporate America Family Credit Union, also headquartered in Elgin, Illinois. CAFCU offers more financial products, credit cards, mobile banking, and longer service hours.

Church World Service

A ministry of the National Council of the Churches of Christ, and organized in 1946 by several denominations to: “Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, and shelter the homeless.” They provided over 11 million pounds of food and medical supplies to war torn Europe, with later operations during peace time focusing more on disaster relief. Because the Church of the Brethren was intimately involved in it’s formation, they offered Church World Service their New Windsor Service Center facilities to process material aid.

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Conflict Resolution Teams

A program of On Earth Peace Assembly and Ministry of Reconciliation, to train young adults to explain the concepts of peacemaking and conflict resolution, especially to church camps and congregations.

Congregational Life Teams

One of the eight administrative departments of the former General Board, Mission & Ministry Board since 2008. During the 1997-1998 redesign process of the General Board, a new strategy was proposed to further enhance communication, resourcing, and interpretation between the General Board and districts and congregations with the establishment of Congregational Life Teams. Each of the five different regions are staffed with half-time positions.

Council of District Executives

District staff began to coordinate their mutual efforts in the early 1970s through their own formation of an organization, for purposes of social interaction, professional growth, and mutual support. The 2001 Annual Conference took action to: “recognize the Council of District Executives as an organization within the denomination, where Annual Conference agencies share information, participate in mutual ministry discussion, and explore the various voices of district and agency life, leadership, and ministries.”

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““For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.””
Philippians 4:9