The Highland Avenue congregation seeks to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Our denominational website's peace and justice page states:
The Church of the Brethren is known as a Historic Peace Church. In other words, since the beginning Brethren have turned away from violence as a means of solving interpersonal or international problems. The basis for this conviction is firmly rooted in the New Testament, and more specifically in Jesus’ teachings on loving our enemies and Paul’s admonition that Christians seek to live peaceably with all and that they strive to “overcome evil with good.”
Highland Avenue regularly holds peace workshops and retreats. We are active in protesting military solutions and working for peaceful resolutions to conflict. As a part of our peace witness we have hosted community gatherings to work against gang violence, participated in community peacemaking events, joined in local conversations on race, and attended workshops/rallies about domestic violence. Highland Avenue supports the work of the Community Crisis Center.
Conversation on Race
The 16th annual worship exchange was held with Second Baptist Church in Elgin on January 22, 2017.
The Church of the Brethren continues to encourage its young men and women to refrain from participation in the military, counseling conscientious objection to war and providing conscientious objection resources. Members of our congregation visit local public highs schools to sit alongside military recruiters and encourage other students to consider other alternatives. Our denomination has developed a new curriculum on conscientious objection for youth called Call of Conscience.
Elgin: City of Peace
Members of our congregation have been active in an effort to have Elgin officially declared a “City of Peace.” Our application was accepted by the International Cities of Peace and on September 11, 2013 City of Elgin Mayor David Kaptain officially proclaimed Elgin as a City of Peace. He also declared September 21 of each year to be ELGIN DAY OF PEACE and urged the city council to develop policies and procedures that promote establishing peace in our city in perpetuity.
On Earth Peace
Our denomination's organization On Earth Peace helps individuals, congregations, communities, and other groups grow in peace through programs of training and accompaniment.
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Christian Peacemaker Teams partner with non-violent movements around the world. CPT believes they can “transform war and occupation, our own lives, and the wider Christian world through the nonviolent power of God's truth, partnership with local peacemakers, and bold action.”
Opportunities to Speak Out about Peace and Justice
Information about how to express your concern and be an advocate for peace and justice to our government and the world can be found on the denomination's Action Alert page.