The BMC Board and the Steering Committee of Church of the Brethren SCN congregations are pleased to announce that On Earth Peace (OEP) will join the Supportive Communities Network as a denominational agency that publicly affirms the full participation of lgbtq people in the life of the church. OEP’s journey has been arduous and difficult, yet they have stepped forward in solidarity and hope, trusting in the possibilities of the love that “makes all things new.” We celebrate their courage to act despite significant resistance and push back from anxious denominational structures.
OEP joins an amazing community committed to building a church and world that is more humane and just for all people. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship together. Welcome to On Earth Peace!
On Earth Peace Celebrates SCN Membership
Jesus began his work by proclaiming that he was anointed “to let the oppressed go free” (Luke 4:18). This message was not received well in his hometown, but he knew it was a vital component of the “things that make for peace” (Luke 19:42). Overcoming oppression and welcoming the stranger are both central to the full evangelistic message and work of Jesus toward a peaceful beloved community.
On Earth Peace’s commitment to undoing racism has taken us on an organizational journey of almost twenty years. Especially for those of us who are white, it has been staggering, humbling, and convicting to witness how oppression impacts people’s personal and family lives and their participation in church and society. For those of us who are people of color, this journey has been vital in the organization’s willingness and ability to fully include us in its work and leadership. For all of us, it has been liberating to deepen our understanding of the sin of racism and live more deeply into Jesus’ life and call.
All forms of prejudice and oppression overlay each other and undermine the Good News of Christ. As part of receiving Christ’s call to repentance and new life, his disciples are called to dismantle these prejudices and oppressions in their hearts and institutions. To all who are pushed aside, shamed, made invisible, or silenced, Jesus is good news. “Take heart, get up, he is calling you” (Mark 10:49).
In faithfulness to this understanding of the good news, and in support of people of various gender identities and sexual orientations who live in our Church of the Brethren communities, the On Earth Peace board is pleased to announce its decision to join the Supportive Communities Network (SCN) of the Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests (BMC). This growing network now connects nearly 140 Brethren and Mennonite congregations and communities who are working together to provide spaces of belonging, pastoral services, and full support to LGBTQ+ believers and seekers.
Membership in SCN will assist OEP in learning how to be a multicultural, inclusive agency, which fosters justice, peace, and joy. To this end, we invite the whole church to learn about the exciting work of the Supportive Communities Network so that more people might find peace in the Beloved Community of Jesus we call the Church of the Brethren.
For more information and frequently asked questions, visit OEP's website here.