Inter-church body and Anabaptist denomination make joint peace appointment

By staff writers
1 Jul 2010

The National Council of Churches USA (NCCUSA) and the Church of the Brethren have jointly appointed Jordan Blevins to lead an ecumenical peacemaking programme on behalf of the two organisations.

He will be a staff member for witness for the historic peace church and the NCCUSA’s Washington DC advocacy officer.

Blevins is a member of Westminster (Maryland) Church of the Brethren. Previously, he was associate director of the NCCUSA’s Eco-Justice Programme and coordinator of Poverty Initiatives and Washington internships with the organisation since September 2007.

Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary of the NCCUSA, welcomed the appointment. “It models a new form of support for our work,” he said.

“The United Church of Christ already has a similar agreement with the Council that undergirds our ministry in racial justice and human rights,” said Kinnamon, “and we hope that other churches will follow suit. This gives us staff coverage in the area of peacemaking, which has always been a crucial part of the Council’s agenda.”

He continued: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome Jordan Blevins, who has been a fine colleague in the field of eco-justice, into this new position. He is the right person for this new portfolio.”

Blevins’s responsibilities for the Church of the Brethren will include nurturing the denomination’s witness to society and government from a uniquely Anabaptist-Pietist Brethren perspective, with an emphasis on peace and justice. He will also represent the NCCUSA member churches in advocacy for peace and provide leadership in educational initiatives with the member churches and wider society.

The Church of the Brethren, along with Mennonites and Quakers, are one of the ‘historic peace churches’, which see the refusal of violence as a core component of the central Christian message, rather than an ethical option.

Prior to joining the NCCUSA, Blevins was a legislative intern at the Brethren Witness/Washington Office beginning in January 2007, where he participated in a Faith Expedition to Vietnam and did follow up reporting and helped create a Brethren Water and Sanitation project in that area through the Global Food Crisis Fund.

Additionally, he was manager of Cokesbury Bookstore in Washington DC, as well as a ground-up fundraiser for Grassroots Campaigns, Inc.

Blevins holds a bachelor of arts degree in Philosophy and Religion and a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration from Bridgewater (Virginia) College and recently graduated from American University and Wesley Theological Seminary with a master of arts degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution, and a master of theological studies, respectively. He is pursuing a doctorate of ministry in Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue at Wesley Theological Seminary.

He serves on the Board of Directors of On Earth Peace, on the Church of the Brethren’s Young Adult Steering Committee, and on the New Fire Task Force, a young adult ecumenical movement.

Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been a leading force for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States.

The NCCUSA’s 36 member faith groups - from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Peace churches - include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the country.

[Ekk/3]

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