Church of the Brethren

  • IL


1451 Dundee Avenue

United States

About Us


Continuing the work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.  

Another way of living:

In the New Testament, the word "brethren" describes a community of disciples who chose another way of living: the way of Jesus. The Church of the Brethren, begun three centuries ago in Germany, still draws people who want to continue Jesus' work of  radical compassionate discipleship.

Continuing the work of Jesus:

Since its beginnings, the Brethren have   looked to the New Testament as the guide for faith and practice. Therefore, they subscribe to no formal "creed" or set of rules. They try to do what Jesus did.   Jesus brought a message of life, love, and hope. But he offered much more than inspiring words: He understood that people's spiritual needs also include day-to-day human ones — food, health, rest, comfort, friendship, and unconditional acceptance. "I am the way," he told his followers. He showed them how to trust, how to care, and how to help.   Steadily, lovingly, even radically, Jesus went about saving the world — by serving its people. Because we believe his message, Brethren seeks to do the same.  


Whether the conflict involves warring nations, racial discord, theological disputes, personal disagreement, or simple misunderstanding, the Church of the Brethren listen conscientiously, seek guidance in the scriptures, and work toward reconciliation.

The longstanding commitment to peace and justice includes a deep regard for human life and dignity. Brethren reach worldwide to help repair the ravages of poverty, ignorance, exploitation, and catastrophic events. Along with their faith, they bring food, books, classes, tools, and medicine. Living peacefully, to the Brethren, means treating each person with the attentive, compassionate respect that all human beings deserve.  


A century ago, all Brethren were immediately recognizable because of their plain dress and reserved ways. Today's Brethren live very much in the world, work in a broad range of occupations, and make use of the latest technology.  

Continually, though, they try to simplify their lives. Practicing a modest nonconformity, they think carefully about daily choices. The ideal of simplicity guides their decisions:  How will they conduct their business, raise their children, spend their leisure time, tend to natural resources? How will they use their money, and why? How can they live comfortably, but without excess or ostentation?  

For the Brethren, such considerations are not a requirement, but a privilege. As they seek to live intentionally, responsibly, and simply, they find a deep sense of purpose. And they find joy.  


Whether worshiping, serving, learning, or celebrating, Brethren act in community. Together, they study the Bible to discern God's will; make decisions as a group, and each person's voice matters.  

During the traditional love feast, they gather at the table of the Lord, and each summer at Annual Conference they convene as a denominational family. Because Jesus urged unity, Brethren work alongside other denominations, at home and abroad, in worldwide mission and outreach.  

Congregations welcome all who wish to share with the Brethren in another way of living: The way of Christian discipleship, life in community, fulfillment in service.  

They live out their faith in community. That community begins in the congregation, but extends also to the district, and to the church as a whole. In other words, the life and work of the Church of the Brethren begins within hundreds of congregations but reaches around the world.