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Brethren Information Center

Denominational

Timeline of the Church of the Brethren tracing our development from a very small circle of eight Anabaptist and Pietist believers in Schwarzenau, Germany, until the present 1,100 congregations in 36 states with mission projects around the world. Discover many external religious events that significantly contributed to our formation. Included are many secular historical markers to help properly frame Brethren events in relation to world happenings.

Bulletin Board is a free community resource where Brethren related messages are regularly posted by denominational leaders, church officials, and the membership. Notices are usually posted within hours of being received. This is the quickest way to openly communicate with online Brethren.

Newsletters and journals from various Brethren sources including districts, congregations, camps, denominational agencies, and special events posted by individuals.

Church/District Homepages     Visit our many churches & districts that have "gone online" with their own web site, or have contracted for a homepage through COB-Net. Learn to know us by visiting one of our many online congregations or districts.

Annual Conference Overview    It is the historical town meeting of the Church of the Brethren where delegates from each local church gather in harmony to affirm one another, and enact polity. This annual gathering successfully mixes fun, worship, serious debate, education, and challenge in one memorable week.

Annual Conference Statements    It is the historical town meeting of the Church of the Brethren where delegates from each local church gather in harmony to affirm one another, and enact polity. This annual gathering successfully mixes fun, worship, serious debate, education, and challenge in one memorable week.

Congregational Mission Statements     Some of our churches have adopted Mission Statements to add local expression or intensify the focus of their congregational ministry. These are usually brief statements of evangelical vision or discipleship, as opposed to lengthly articles regarding belief, worship styles, or doctrinal practice.

General Board     ...is the administrative division of the Church of the Brethren. It is directly responsible to the congregational delegate body at Annual Conference, and is entrusted with implementing programs to satisfy the wishes of the denomination as outlined through the discernment and parliamentary activity of each Annual Conference.

Brethren Volunteer Service    How can one person with compassion meaningfully assist so many others that are immersed in poverty, hunger, or occupational exclusion? Filled with enthusiasm and high aspirations, people often lack the focus or the connections to know where to start. BVS offers these bright and energetic individuals the opportunity to make a practical difference in the world around them.

Brethren Discussion Groups     Online discussion groups are increasing in popularity with the COB, and we have four list servers and one newsgroup. Learn how you may become a part of the ongoing dialog between our members on a variety of topics through: List Servers - Newsgroups - Online Services

Church Camps are offered by our twenty-three Districts, and open for attendance to individuals from any walk of life. Many of the camps offer special "extended" activities beyond the geographical area of the camp itself. Our districts endeavor to give campers both a taste of life in the wild, plus a spiritual perspective of life.

E-mail Addresses     The Brethren E-mail List is maintained by Jim Miner of the Highland Avenue COB, Elgin, IL, and includes over 1,450 e-mail addresses of various people, churches, districts, agencies, and colleges. Please send all e-mail additions, corrections, or deletions to Jim at cob_list@yahoo.com.

Prayer has two sections, one to list prayer concerns of our membership, and a second which focuses entirely on the Lord's Prayer. Both sections have beautiful photos that are rotated regularly, and each have their own music options. If you have a prayer concern, share it with the rest of the Church of the Brethren.

Retirement Communities     Do you need information on our retirement facilities? Is there a resident that you want to contact? Use this handy list to contact the appropriate person. Some communities have their own web sites to provide information and enrich your visit.

Web Directory is a listing of frequently used Brethren web addresses that includes congregations, districts, church camps, agencies, ministries, colleges, discussion possibilities, retirement homes, and personal homepages. Link to our directory where ever you see this icon. Think of the Directory as a Site Map for the whole Church of the Brethren.



Reference

Brethren Encyclopedia A veritable treasure of information about all Brethren denominations tracing their history to the original founding body, who established themselves in 1708 as a new Baptist movement through adult baptism in the Eder River near Schwarzenau, Germany. They were first called Neue Taüfer (new Baptists) to distinguish them from older Anabaptists groups such as the Mennonites and Amish. Presently, this includes seven Brethren denominations: The Brethren Church, Church of the Brethren, Dunkard Brethren Church, Old German Baptist Brethren, Old Order German Baptist Brethren, Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, and Conservative Grace Brethren Churches International. Brethren Encyclopedia is not only a tremendous resource of information and heritage, but also a recognized symbol of unity.

Glossary of Brethren Related Terminology     Brethren terminology, beliefs, doctrines, and history are explained, along with additional information, such as postal mailing addresses, fax numbers, e-mail addresses, geographic location of many facilities, and links to principal web sites.

Glossary of Internet Related Terminology     Mystified by complex Internet or general communication terminology? Increase your understanding of online terms and definitions by reading simple, yet complete definitions to many technical and often esoteric terms.

Comparing Translations of the Bible     This exercise was developed so that you may compare different translations of the Bible without the necessity of going to a bookstore and laboriously opening and searching through a multitude of different versions or editions in order to see how they read. The original idea was to grasp theology students from internet search engines, and hopefully interest them in the Church of the Brethren.

College Reference     Here is an extensive list of educational instruments for research, including world libraries, dictionaries, thesauri, encyclopediae, grammars, and databases, with additional links to financial, entrance standards, testing, and counseling resources.

Brethren Bibliography     These resources will hopefully give you a more expanded understanding of the COB. Many of the authors have made lifelong commitments to making Brethren history, lifestyles, and belief systems more easily understood. Some of the books have excellent cross-references to other works. A few hardcovers are presently out of circulation, but may be acquired from libraries.



Special Interest

Greeting Cards     Use this opportunity to send a virtual greeting card to a friend or acknowledge a special occasion for someone you know. We designed this ministry opportunity using spiritual themes and distinctively Brethren graphics. Express your feelings in a more spiritual way or with a denominational flair.

Voting Booth     Here is your opportunity to voice your opinions through a series of online polls that are geared especially toward the Church of the Brethren experience. Look over the following list and register your opinions. You can even view the statistics of any poll without voting, by just clicking on the View buttons.

Brethren History & Genealogy     Review our genealogical resources, such as book lists, cemetery records, individual contributions, or surf to other genealogical web sites. Hopefully you will find that lost ancestral link to your past. Get in touch with other history buffs and genealogists through the Brethren History & Genealogy List Server administered by Joe Bosserman.

Brethren Cookbook     We love to fellowship and most Brethren congregations regularly serve meals for special occasions. Here is our growing collection of recipes, arranged in topical sections of casseroles, desserts, meat, and soup. If you have a favorite dish that is not listed, share it with us, so that we can enjoy it also.

Book Store: Free advertising for books, tapes, CD's...     Check out the latest releases of books, tapes, and CD's from our Brethren Authors & Performing Artists. These individuals will give you a deeper look into the life and thought of the Brethren. Read how they grew up and the values they were taught. Experience their church life. Listen to their contemporary music and hear what the Brethren sing about today.

Cyber Talk Symbols & Abbreviations     New to the online world? Want to understand all the cyber symbols that people use to inflect emotion and tone into e-mail messages. Here is a list of all those symbols & abbreviations and what they mean. Did we miss one? Send it to us!

Help Understanding COB-NET     If you have just discovered the Church of the Brethren Network or COB-NET AND have questions going around in your mind about who we are, hopefully this document will provide answers to satisfy your curiosity and enrich your visit with us. Please look at our FAQ for questions that relate more properly to understanding the Brethren cultural experience.

the Mail Bag     Ever been curious about the e-mail that we receive? Some of the more general, open context messages we have put in a new collection that we call The Mail Bag. Open it up and discover a small sample of what we have been reading for the past two years.

Other Interesting Web Sites     Here is a resource for biblical education, spiritual maturity, family interests, and personal growth. We have links to many sites that offer indepth studies of various topics. There are also links to various organizations and many government agencies.

| Brethren | Educational | Personal | Music | Kids/Parents | Associations | Computer | Government | Information |

Web Trends    Take a look at the recent traffic around our web site. This monthly report is broken down into various sections to give you an reasonable understanding of who is coming to COB-NET, where they are coming from, and what documents they are reviewing after they arrive.



Beliefs ~ Perspectives

Membership 101 Here is a place to explore the possibility of establishing your membership with the Church of the Brethren. You will learn about vows which you would be expected to affirm during a Baptismal or Reception service, and also the more distinctive beliefs and practices that uniquely accentuate the Church of the Brethren from other denominations.

Brethren Card The Church of the Brethren has historically resisted the theological confinement of creeds and narrow statements of faith; but in order to give non-Brethren a brief introduction to our beliefs and practices, this card was issued many years ago to list the essentials of our understanding of the New Testament.

Brethren Logo of our denomination is comprised of three elements which makes a distinct statement reflecting; our unity in Christ, our compassion for a world in spiritual darkness, our mission to serve others, our responsibility to teach and baptize, and our hope of reward for faithfulness.

Creeds and the Brethren by Frank Ramirez examines the basic reasons why Brethren have traditionally resisted the confinement of a creed by detailing historical moments and theological weaknesses that predictably lay in the pathway to the formation of creeds. Ramirez further gives treatment to the inherent problems of creedalism such as affirmation without investigation or different signposts for different believers on the spiritual journey of faith. Lastly, readers are effectually challenged to define their own approach to developing and defending a system of beliefs.

Pocket Gospel In Apostle Paul's letter to the Romans, he condenses the message of God's grace into just a few short verses. For that reason, some have called this passage the Pocket Gospel. You will be able to view humanity from God's perspective and learn how Jesus became the centerpiece of that plan of grace.

Plan of Redemption through Jesus Christ Understanding the grace of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus is at the heart of Christianity. Here is an overview of God's plan to redeem mankind to Himself through the exemplary life and vicarious atonement of Jesus Christ.

FAQS - Frequently Asked QuestionS Visitors frequently load our e-mail box with innocent, and often curious questions about the Church of the Brethren and what we believe or how we function as an organization. Read our responses to these inquires, and hopefully you will discover the answer to your question.

Timeline    of the Church of the Brethren tracing our development from a very small circle of eight Anabaptist and Pietist believers in Schwarzenau, Germany, until the present 1,100 congregations in 36 states with mission projects around the world. Discover many external religious events that significantly contributed to our formation. Included are many secular historical markers to help properly frame Brethren events in relation to world happenings.