Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dan West: The Brethren in the Future

Writing in 1947, Dan West suggested that "in the last third of a century we [the Church of the Brethren] have moved so far and so fast that were my own father to return he would not likely recognize the same church to which he belonged."

Many of these changes, Dan believed, had demonstrated the genius of the Brethren in action. ... Dan concluded that the future was "uncertain as yet but potentially far beyond anything in our history."

According to him the question was, and still is, whether the Brethren would continue to develop their social policy as rapidly as they had done in the past fifty years, or whether they had reached the point where an inevitable leveling-off would take place.

Perhaps Dan would say today, as he wrote in the family's Christmas newsletter in 1944:

God is still in his heaven ...
and here on earth too
trying to help us floundering mortals
to learn how we ought to live
in homes, in churches, in communities,
and in the world.
He shouldn't have to wait so long on us!
Source: Passing on the Gift, Glee Yoder