Archive for the 'Special Announcements' Category

Special Announcements, Spiritual Formation

Merry Christmas from Veritas

Ryan Braught sent the following as a Christmas card to those following his church plant. I was so impressed by it that I want to share it with the world:

In 9 BC the following inscription was written on a stone in the area of Priene …

The providence, which has ordered the whole of our life, showing concern and zeal, has ordained the most perfect consummation for human life by giving to it Augustus, by filling him with virtue for doing the work of a benefactor among men, and by sending him, as it were, a savior for us and those who come after us, to make war to cease, to create order everywhere. The birthday of the GOD AUGUSUTS – was the beginning of the good news of glad tidings that have come to men through him.

Just a few years later, a group of shepherds received this message on one particular illuminating night …

Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For today in the city of David, there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you. You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. And suddenly, there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “glory to God in the highest and on earth peace with men of good will”.

It’s impossible for me to read these two statements, and walk away without a clear sense that from it’s beginning, the announcement of the good news of the coming of God in Christ, subverted the perceived gods of the world. Caesar was in charge – it was his world – and though the wrong seemed oft so strong – he was the ruler yet. And in Caesar they had hope. Yet, the good news of Jesus proclaimed tidings of joy for all people in a way that Caesar’s never could. Today, we still proclaim Christ’s tiding in this Advent Season … the world thinks of Caesar very little.

But Caesar is not gone.

As I think about Advent I wonder “what is the challenge of Christ’s news today?” There are still plenty of things (and also perhaps people) that promise salvation. We place our hopes at their feet. Some of them speak to us through the walkways of the local Shopping Center … others call out to us from a podium in front of a White House. The work that we do (especially the work of ministry) has a sneaky way of disguising its Caesar-like identity. I know it has captured me more than once.

But, Jesus is still here too – and still challenging and subverting Caesar.

Our Advent faith is an Easter faith. It is grounded in the reality of a moment where the powers of sin, death, and evil all ganged up together and still met their match. Jesus stands over and above all Caesar’s … it is to Him we look … it is in Him we place our hope and trust..

All Hail King Jesus!!!

(Thanks to Chris Backert and the Ecclesia Network for the bulk of the above text)
Jesus is born

(Thanks to Chris Backert and the Ecclesia Network for the bulk of the above text)

Change!?!, Special Announcements


Aloha friends,

The Church of the Brethren will no longer financially support the hosting of this website. But, I have found a way to keep it going.

I want to again thank everyone who has posted or read the material here. I think there’s some really good stuff here that should be kept available for the future.

Also, if there is someone who would like to start writing for EmergentBrethren, please send me an email. You can find my email address under the tab: Contact Us. I would love to chat about the offer.

Blessings to you,


Community, Special Announcements

We’ve lost a saint – Art Gish

Today, I read in Newsline (see below) that Art Gish was killed in a farming accident at the age of 70. What a saint and prophet we’ve lost! I first got to know Art at NYC in 1971. He was one of the speakers. I thought he was nuts! I didn’t understand what it meant to be a radical Christian at the time. As NYC ended, he gave me a ride to Pennsylvania. Over several hours, we got to talk and I realized that he’s just a normal person with a lot of passion.

A few years later, Bethany Seminary flew me from La Verne College to be on campus to check the seminary out for a few days. Art and Peggy invited me and the other La Verne students over for lunch. I was really hungry and was disappointed when I learned they were serving soup. Until this time, I had only had the “Campbells” variety. By the time I finished my soup, I was stuffed! It was fantastic, with all the fresh vegetables and other ingredients that Peggy put in.

Art and I haven’t had much contact over the years since then. But knowing how he loved Jesus, and how his faith moved him towards “radicalism”, I’ve been touched and inspired!

Thanks, God, for saints like, Art!



Church of the Brethren peacemaker and activist Arthur G. (Art) Gish, 70, died in a farming accident yesterday morning when his tractor rolled while he was working on his farm in Athens County, Ohio.

Gish and his wife, Peggy, have been organic farmers, life-long workers for peace, and members of the New Covenant Fellowship in Athens, Ohio, a communal church affiliated with the Church of the Brethren. Peggy Gish currently is serving with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in Iraq.

“We have lost a person important to the Church of the Brethren who has been a visible witness to Christ’s peace around the world,” said Stan Noffsinger, the church’s general secretary, remembering Gish’s strong witness for active Christian peacemaking. “It is a true loss to the church and the thousands of people he served…. We mourn this loss.”

“He has been a formative influence for so many people,” said Bob Gross, executive director of On Earth Peace. Gross and his family were part of the New Covenant community along with the Gish family for some years beginning in the 1970s.

Gish is remembered for his participation in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and the protest movement against war in the 1970s, and for his work for peace in the Middle East in more recent decades. He was a speaker, preacher, and writer with “incisive and frequently controversial views,” as characterized in an interview with “Messenger” magazine published on Aug. 13, 1970. Up until recently he had worked in the Middle East for periods of time with Christian Peacemaker Teams, beginning in 1995, often as a part of the CPT teams in the West Bank city of Hebron and in the Palestinian village of At-Tuwani.

Church Planting, Special Announcements

Happy Birthday to Veritas!

Some of you know Ryan Braught personally, and others know him through this writing here on Emergent Brethren. About once a week, he sends out a prayer request list to several people. In his latest, he names that his church plant is just about to celebrate its first birthday. I think this is a significant event! Please join me and others in praying for Ryan and the new church that Christ has called him to plant.

This is his latest prayer request list:

Hey all,

It’s really hard to believe that Summer is right around the corner and that we are fast approaching our year anniversary as a Church Plant. We have come far but we also have a ways to go. But God has been good and faithful to us and a lot of it can be attributed to each of you and your faithful prayers on behalf of the Veritas community. Thanks so much for your prayers and your support for us. They are very much appreciated. Here are some prayer requests and praises regarding Veritas and our future.

1. Newspaper Article: The other week while at a Church Planting conference I was interviewed for an article in the Lancaster Newspaper. In the article it was mentioned that there was going to be a follow up piece on Veritas and other innovative communities (like my friend Erik and his Definition Collective). Well the article was in the paper on Saturday. Here is the link for you to read (if you haven’t already read it)….

2. Church of the Brethren Church Planting Conference: This past week I was in Richmond, IN at our COB Church Planting conference at Bethany Seminary. It was a good week. The leadership of Rose Madrid-Swetman and Jim Henderson was amazing. Rose was amazing and shared about her missional community in Seattle and reminded me why Veritas exists. Praise God for the voice of “outsiders” who can speak into my life and remind me why we planted Veritas in the first place. My workshop went well and was given good feedback and it was good to share the vision of Veritas with many people. Pray that those in attendance at the conference may seek to plant a church, support church planting, or be involved in church planting in the future. It was a great group of people to spend time with in prayer, worship, fellowship, and study.

3. Missional Opportunities: Pray for us as we enter the summer that we could use this summer as an opportunity to step up our missional presence in the community. Pray that we could reach out to neighbors, and the community as individuals and as a community. Pray for us as we seek to discern ways of serving and blessing the community. (Servolution week, etc…) Pray that God would allow us to see growth in Veritas (not the primary reason for seeking to bless people but as a by-product).

4. Space: Pray for continued discernment with this issue. We have 4 options at this point. 1. Stay at English Presbyterian Church for a while. 2. Lease a space in the city of Lancaster on Liberty Street. 3. Purchase a Church Building that has come up for sale in our area at a very reasonable and affordable price. 4. Lease or Buy another property that we don’t know about yet. So pray for us as we seek to discern our next steps as a community.

5. Finances: Pray for us as we will be sending out Fundraising Letters in the very near future. Pray for those who receive the letters. Pray for openness to supporting the mission of Veritas. Also pray for congregations that I will be seeking to talk with about financial support. Pray for open doors and a willingness to partner with us.

6. Growth: Pray for growth to take place in various areas (spiritual, numerical, missional, relational). Pray that we would realize that we are called to plant and water but God gives the growth. Pray that we would be faithful to the call God has on us and that we wouldn’t worry about the end result, other than just being faithful.

These next 2 things are necessarily prayer requests…

1. If you know of someone who might connect with what we are about at Veritas, please let them know about us. If you have people who have no faith community to be a part of, share with them about Veritas. If you know people in your faith community who might have a calling on their lives to be a part of a church plant, and you would be willing to release them for a time, let us know.
2. If you know of someone or a church who might be interested in learning more about the vision of Veritas and possibly supporting us financially, please let us know. I would be more than willing to meet with them and share with them the vision of Veritas and how they might be able to support us.

Thanks again for your prayers and support for Veritas.

God bless,


You can learn more about Veritas at their website.


Special Announcements

Veritas on Noise Trade

Just wanted to let the Emergent Brethren community that you can download some great tunes on Noise Trade from the Veritas Community. Last summer we produced a CD with original music from several musicians within our community. We called the CD “Music From Our Community”. We were finally able to upload several of the Tracks on Noise Trade and now you can download some great Veritas music. So go to for some great music, share with your friends about the music and Veritas via Social Networking media (Twitter, Facebook, etc…) and if you feel so led you can also support our Veritas community by donating when you download the music.

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