Monday, June 02, 2008

Bicentennial Celebration - 1908

A Bicentennial Celebration was planned for the 1908 Annual Meeting to celebrate the two-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Brethren. The Bicentennial was held June 3-11 at the Des Moines, Iowa Annual Meeting. The planning committee prepared an ambitious list of fifteen topics covering all aspects of the Brethren movement in the past and in the present. The topics were to be addressed by twenty-four speakers chosen from among leaders of the church and its colleges. These addressed were published in a substantial volume titled Two Centuries of the Church of the Brethren.

The meetings at which the addresses were given were largely attended and it was the general consensus of opinion that the Conference of 1908 with its bicentennial program was one of the most interesting and at the same time deeply spiritual Annual Meetings held within the memory of those present.

During the next nine days we will provide brief summaries of these addresses given one hundred years ago on June 3-11. We will not be able to summarize all 24 addresses but we will focus on nine primary topics to provide insight into our church in 1908 at the bicentennial celebration.

Postscript: When the Brethren gathered in Des Moines, Iowa for their Bicentennial Celebration in June 1908, the Brethren offices were located in Chicago. On June 2, the Chicago Cubs had the best record in Major League Baseball and went on to win the World Series in 1908. They have not won the World Series since. One Hundred years later, the Church of the Brethren offices are located just west of Chicago in Elgin, Illinois, and in this the Tricentennial year of the Church of the Brethren the Chicago Cubs have the best record in Major League Baseball at the beginning of June for the first time since 100 years ago. Will they go on to win the World Series in the Church of the Brethren Tricentennial year?