Grace Faculty, Alumni Participate in Fifth Brethren World Assembly

A number of Grace College and Seminary alumni and faculty participated in the Fifth Brethren World Assembly, held July 11-14, 2013, in Brookville, Ohio.  The assembly, which is a worldwide gathering of Brethren groups descended from Alexander Mack, Schwarzenau, Germany, in 1708, was sponsored by the Brethren Encyclopedia Board and was hosted by the Brethren Heritage Center in Brookville, Ohio.

Tom Julien was a member of the planning committee for the event, which utilized the theme “Brethren Spirituality.” Grace alumnus and part-time faculty member Terry White is a board member and treasurer of Brethren Encyclopedia Project, Inc., which sponsored the gathering. The chairman of the planning group was Robert Alley, immediate past moderator of the Church of the Brethren.

Some 300 representatives of the seven descendant groups gathered for four days of joint worship, panel presentations, reading of papers, touring of historical sites, and sharing in fellowship and meals. Grace prayer coordinator and faculty member Roger Peugh was the main speaker for the opening evening session, with a focus on prayer.

Faculty member Christy Hill presented a paper on “Spiritual Formation Practices” and Jared Burkholder of the college’s history department read a paper on “Community, Family, and Individual in Brethren Spirituality.” Burkholder focused primarily on the legacies of theologian Peter Need, pioneer missionary Estella Myers, and former Grace president Herman A. Hoyt. Columbus, Ohio-based Pastor Jim Custer, who chairs the board of trustees for Grace College and Seminary, also participated in several panels, as did Encompass World Partners missionary Barbara Wooler.

Participating groups included Church of the Brethren, The Brethren Church, Dunkard Brethren Church, Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, Conservative Grace Brethren Churches International, and Old German Baptist Brethren Church-New Conference. More complete reports of the conference may be seen at graceconnect.us or at brethrenencyclopedia.org.

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