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STATEMENT OF CONCERN
The Council of District Executives is comprised of those who serve the twenty-three districts of the denomination as professional staff persons. The council's representation provides a broad window of opportunity to observe and analyze trends within the Church of the Brethren from a local, regional and national perspective. Our conversations often focus upon issues related to the nature and function of the church. In recent years we have noted with concern the development of various divisive trends and attitudes. We believe the Church of the Brethren is increasingly becoming fragmented. Among the signs of fragmentation which we observe are:
These signs of fragmentation reflect a lack of commonly-owned vision and an absense of a sense of a shared identity. We believe this is the call of God to our generation to reaffirm our identity as members of the Church of the Brethren in particular and as Christians in general.
Therefore, we, the Council of District Executives, call upon the agencies and other groupings within the Church of the Brethren to join with us, for the first time in over forty years, to sponsor a broadly represented consultation on ecclesiology. The purpose of the consultation is to involve the Church of the Brethren in an extensive conversation which can help us understand and address the issues related to our current situation. This consultation is a first step toward a new and common understanding within the church concerning who, whose and what we are.
Adopted by the Council of District Executives
July 5, 2003