Classics in Spirituality, June 5, 2023: Non-coercion and the Church of the Brethren

Classics in Spirituality is a regular feature of Cobblestone’s programming. This program is scheduled on first Monday of each month (unless the first is a holiday) at 11 a.m. to noon. This year the series continues to be presented via Zoom; please contact us ( to receive the Zoom link. Videos of most past programs (since fall 2020) are posted on our Vimeo channel.

Our topic coordinators this year are Alex Andrasik and Columba Salamony– thanks to both of them for stepping in to help! If you are interested in presenting, or want to suggest a topic for a future session, please use the program nomination form in the right sidebar.

Non-coercion and the Church of the Brethren
with Rev. Katie Shaw Thompson

Program Description:

Join Pastor Katie Shaw Thompson to learn about the Church of the Brethren, a small Christian denomination that holds no creed and is deeply rooted in the philosophy of non-coercion. Participants will also be invited to share their own practice of faith or non-faith.

Background, from In the New Testament, the word “brethren” describes a community of men and women 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 faithfulness and loving service.

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.

Presenter: Rev. Katie Shaw Thompson lives with her spouse, two kids, and a tailless cat in a small city near Chicago, where she is a four-season bike rider, an aspiring knitter, and the pastor of the Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren.

Return to main Classics in Spirituality page.

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