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Dan West

Various Brethren Press PDF

dunkerguide-history-complete35/27/104:56 PMPage 941908-1958Dan WestPied piper for peace by Denise KetteringBrethren ‘visionary’ helped to begin several major programsICourtesy of Brethren Historical Library and Archivesdiscovered many treasures while working at the Brethren HistoricalLibrary and Archives. In the bottom of an old filing cabinet, for example, I found a flute in a moldy, black case that once belonged to Dan West.It seems an apt symbol for West’s leadership. Like the legendary Pied Piper,Dan West played an original tune and led Brethren youth down a new path.Unlike the legend, however, he did not lead young people down the road to destruction; instead, he called youth to lives of peace, justice, and harmony.The song he composed while luring young men into alternative service, drawing young women into the camping movement, and inviting teenagers into peace education at times created strident notes within the denomination he loved.Dan West’s influence in the Church of the Brethren and around the world is itself legendary. Throughout the world, people have benefited from Heifer

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Caught Off Guard at Goshen

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dunkerguide-history-complete35/27/104:56 PMPage 921908-1958Caught off guard at Goshen by Steve LongeneckerBrethren recanted anti-war statement under threat of sedition chargeOCourtesy of Brethren Historical Library and Archivesnly once in 300 years did an immediate crisis require Brethren to convene as a denomination prior to their next annual gathering. During World War I a national draft of men into military service jeopardizedBrethren pacifists, and the denomination responded with an emergency meeting inGoshen, Ind.Conscription caught the denomination unprepared. The World War I draft was the nation’s first in several generations, and at that point only the third in American history. Except for the CivilWar and the Revolutionary War, volunteers had fought all other conflicts.The new draft law gave conscientious objectors (CO’s) few options. Regulations required all men between the ages of 18 and 45 to regHenry C. Early served as moderator of ister and provided no opportunity for them to the Church of the Brethren in 1918. indicate CO status. Draftees who were CO’s had to report to military camp first, then declare their intent. But as CO’s arrived, authorities were reluctant to accept their word, and documentation of their beliefs became essential. Moreover, Brethren draftees and the ministers who visited them complained that authorities treated CO’s roughly.

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Believers Baptism

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A DUNKERG U I D E TOBelievers BaptismWalking in newness of lifeMatthew 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; Romans 6:1-4Allen T. HansellAMack (1679–1735), the first minister and organizer of the first Brethren in 1708, wrote more about baptism than any other sub35 ject. The Church of the Brethren continues to affirm and follow Mack’s understanding of baptism.Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River (Matt. 3:13; Mark 1:9), setting an example for his followers in all generations. Moreover, Jesus commissioned his disciples to baptize others: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of theHoly Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19).For Brethren, baptism has no inherent sacramental value. The act of baptism is simply an outward expression of an inner transformation that occurs in one’s heart prior to baptism. Mack underscored this belief by pointing to Paul’s understanding of circumcision. Paul argued that Abraham was reckoned as righteous before he was circumcised (Romans 4:10). Circumcision was “a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised” (Romans 4:11a). Likewise, baptism is a public testimony that one has already acknowledged and responded to God’s saving grace. Baptism marks God’s blessing on a new beginning.

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Prologue

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A DUNKERG U I D E TOPrologueWhen Mary Ellen and I first came to Lancaster Church of the Brethren, I was fond of saying, “I’m the newest Brethren in the room!” We had been longtime members of The United Methodist Church before coming to Lancaster, but it became obvious to us very quickly that the Church of the Brethren was a good fit for us, and we joined soon after I became director of music in July 2004.Almost seven years later, I am no longer always the newest Brethren in the room, but I still often feel like a newbie compared to friends who grew up with Brethren traditions. Nevertheless, I was asked to contribute an essay to our congregational booklet on Brethren beliefs and traditions. I found the process of researching and just thinking about it very rewarding. My tiny part helped me realize the deep worth of our denomination and our fellowship.I have an odd story to illustrate what I mean. Once, when flying to visit relatives in Mississippi, we had a layover in Cincinnati. After we had boarded the plane a boisterous group of hunters boarded, laughing loudly about their missing companion. Believe it or not, his name was Bubba—perfectly completing the redneck stereotype! Bubba had gotten separated from the group and was in danger of missing the flight. But as his friends were joking about

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Holy Scriptures

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A DUNKERG U I D E TOHoly ScripturesHoly ScripturesWe value both Testaments2 Timothy 3:16-17L. Gene BucherFfor life in the midst of competing truth-claims is a challenging undertaking. The Holy Scriptures are a good place to begin this venture. Second Timothy 3:16-17 suggests that these sacred writings, “inspired by God,” are “useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.”The inspired scripture this text refers to is the Old Testament, which was the only Bible early Christians had. The New Testament books were not accepted as inspired sacred writings (or “canon”) until the middle of the third century after the coming of Jesus. Those early Christians experienced God alive in these ancient texts, communicating in the midst of their everyday lives. They heard God speaking—whether they were lamenting significant loss, haunted by guilt because of unconfessed sin, struggling in the midst of undeserved suffering, or rejoicing over an extraordinarily abundant harvest.

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