The central emphasis of the Church of the Brethren is not a creed but a commitment to follow Jesus as faithful disciples in the modern world. Brethren believe in God as Creator and Sustainer. We confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and we seek to be guided by the Holy Spirit in every aspect of life, thought, and mission.
We hold the New Testament as our guide for living and affirm the need for lifelong study of the scriptures in the community of faith.
The desire to faithfully follow Jesus Christ has led us to emphasize principles that we believe are central in true discipleship. Among these are peace and reconciliation, simple living, integrity of speech, and service to neighbors near and far.
Today we seek to interpret biblical teachings in fresh ways for our day. We encourage members to think about what they buy and how they use their money in an affluent society. We are sensitive to the limited resources of our global community. We encourage people to “affirm” rather than “swear” when taking an oath believing, as did earlier Brethren, that “our word should be as good as our bond.”
Above all, Brethren seek to pattern our daily living after the life of Jesus: a life of humble service and unconditional love. As part of a larger body of believers—the church, the body of Christ—we go into all the world today with a mission of witness, service, and reconciliation.
Traditions and Practices
The Church of the Brethren traditions are practiced at the Manassas Church. The Brethren practice the baptism of believers who are able to understand and accept the message of the gospel. Those being baptized are immersed three times in the water to symbolize the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Church of the Brethren also practice anointing: the prayerful application of oil to the forehead of someone in physical or spiritual need. Anointing is seen as a powerful symbol of renewal and healing, either in the home, in small groups, or for the congregation.
Twice a year Brethren celebrate Love Feast. This symbolic meal imitates the last supper of Jesus (John 13). Here we wash each other’s feet as Jesus did for his disciples, eat a simple meal, and share communion together. Communion is also offered during morning worship several times each year.
“The Church of the Brethren believes that children born into the congregation belong to Jesus and to the church in a special way. Children are an integral part of the people of God and share in the life and experiences of a congregation. Because the choice to be baptized follows a personal decision involving responsibility that a child is not prepared to assume, congregations welcome children into the church in a service of consecration of children and parents.” (For All Who Minister (Brethren Press: 1993), p. 147)
Manassas Church of the Brethren celebrates “Baby Dedication” services as needed, often several times a year. During the service the infant receives a blessing, parents pledge to raise their son or daughter with love and faith, and the congregation affirms its promise to support, encourage, and love the family in their journey of faith.
For more information please contact us.