Jen Houser is a student at Duke Divinity School serving On Earth Peace as her field placement. She is a pre-licensing candidate for ministry in the Church of the Brethren. Below is a recent reflection on her work with On Earth Peace in response to a school assignment.
Question: In whom have you experienced Jesus this summer?
Last week, I had the exciting experience of attending my first Church of the Brethren Annual Conference while interning with On Earth Peace. I was excited to meet new people, but nervous as to what the week would hold. This year’s conference was different from others in that no new business was brought forward. Instead, we gathered around tables and discussed questions that guided us to remember why we all loved each other. Though we did not always agree on the issues at hand, we still built relationships with one another. In our commonalities, we found reasons to love one another.
I experienced Jesus this summer in each person sitting at my round table during Annual Conference. There were people who agreed with me and supported me, and there were those who did not agree with me and would probably not support some of my friends in ministry; however, each one of them possessed aspects of Christ. Each one spoke with love towards one another. Some promoted peace and justice, while others reminded us of the importance of relying on God and God’s word. Christ embodied each of these aspects, and it was great to see them portrayed through different people sitting at my table.
Seeing Christ in those who disagreed with me on important issues helped me to see the humanity in each person. We are all created in God’s image and are worthy of God’s love and grace. Though I was nervous, I am happy that I was able to participate in my first COB Annual Conference this year. It brought me hope that the Church of the Brethren will be a great home for me.
God in whom each of us are made, may the Church of the Brethren continue to be a loving home to all. Bless us as we move forward from this Annual Conference. May your glory and love be made known to all through our present and future decisions. Amen.