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We have this hope

Local leaders from all over the country weigh in on their hopes and excitement about where God is leading us as a body of believers.

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4–6).

Jeff Wright Madison Street Church (Riverside, Calif.)

Our children are inheriting a world where the Christian story is increasingly heard incoherently, and where the Church is becoming marginalized in a postmodern and post-Christendom environment. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. At the margins of this strange new world, the Brethren in Christ Church aspires to be a home for Jesus-followers, giving us a Jesus-centered sense of holy identity and a Jesus-shaped mission of welcoming reconciliation. We are discovering a fresh capacity to welcome those who share neither our particular ethnic heritage, nor our specific theological proclivities, in the journey of belief in our ever-present savior, teacher, friend, and Lord—Jesus Christ.

Ray Kipe Five Forks BIC (Waynesboro, Pa.)

I am encouraged to see the BIC Church in the U.S. embrace and seek wise counsel and fresh insight from Brethren in Christ people in other countries. I believe this will enhance our understanding of God and the way he works in our hearts and in the world. Being part of the global Church is very important to what it means to be Brethren in Christ.

Margaret Engle Abilene (Kans.) BIC

I’m encouraged by our emphasis this year in the Midwest Conference of ‘rediscipling’ with a strong concern for children. Many of the children of my grandchildren’s ages are already strongly committed to Jesus, and their enthusiasm for General Conference helps me believe that if we keep on making this a priority the dividends will be wonderful.

Craig Sipes Morrison (Ill.) BIC

When I think of my kids’ future, I believe they may have difficult choices to make regarding nationalism and peace. I am encouraged that the Brethren in Christ have kept the light shining on this aspect of our Christian walk and maintained our beliefs about Jesus in the midst of so much skepticism over the Scripture and Christ’s authority. If Jesus does not have the authority of divinity, how can my children find the strength to maintain love and peace in a vicious, divided world? So this commitment of ours to follow and obey the master, our creator and friend, gives me great hope for the future.

Hank Johnson Harrisburg (Pa.) BIC

I am very encouraged that we are becoming a family of more nations, tribes, and tongues. Isaiah’s vision and John’s revelation are the reality for Christ’s Church, and it’s a joy to see our denomination love and work to make this a reality on earth as it is in heaven. Now we just need to continue making disciples and being lights to our world.

This article originally appeared in the summer 2014 issue of In Part magazine.

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