Phone Number: 804-288-6439
Address: 7612 Wanymala Road, Henrico, VA 23229
Email: wrcob@wrcob.org

Hours:

Sunday School: 9:45am – 10:45am
Sunday Worship: 11am
Office: Monday thru Friday 9am – 2pm

Special Services

The spiritual practices of baptism, love feast and anointing have unique meanings for Brethren.

Baptism

We see baptism as an act of cleansing, an act of joining, an act of initiation and an act that begins a life long journey in faith. Since it is seen as a beginning, not an end, we instruct persons to embrace baptism with studied deliberation and not mere emotion. We encourage baptism for adults and not infants, in obedience to Jesus who was baptized as an adult by John the Baptist. Baptism is not seen as an automatic rite, but as an act that symbolizes leaving behind mistakes in God’s love and being set apart to minister in God’s power.

In the practice of baptism, candidates promise to embrace the saving love shown by Jesus, the caring way exemplified by Jesus and the sharing community created by Jesus. We baptize people three times forward, in keeping with Jesus’ instruction to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Though we immerse, we also recognize the baptism of people from other traditions.

Love Feast

Love feast has been central to the life our faith community, and has typically been celebrated on World Communion Sunday early in October and during Holy Week before Easter. Seeking to call to mind Jesus’ Last Supper with disciples, we gather around candlelit tables and engage in preparatory reflection, foot washing, a meal and bread and cup communion. Songs, prayers, scripture, and words of meditation invite us to love God and each other. Usually men and women wash feet separately in a circle. Persons gird themselves with a towel, wash another’s feet in a basin, rise to offer a handshake or an embrace of fellowship or a kiss on the cheek, and offer words of quiet affirmation. The footwasher’s feet are washed by a person on the opposite side of them. Hands are then cleansed in a basin. Footwashing symbolizes a re-baptism in Jesus and our willingness to serve one another. The bread and cup are then shared as signs of our agreement with God and each other, made possible by Jesus’ compassionate life that ended in suffering and death. The bread and cup are also shared in Sunday morning worship on two other occasions throughout the year.

Anointing

Brethren have always encouraged purity of mind and body, which leads to health and wholeness. When people become broken emotionally or sick physically, we offer anointing with oil as a symbol of God’s healing love. We derive this practice from instructions in James 5:13-18. Anointing is not seen as a magical act or last rite. It is simply a practice to help open us to God’s love. In the service, James 5:13-18 is read, and perhaps a few other scriptures. Then, the person being anointed is given moments to express from within anything positive or negative. Olive oil from the anointer’s hand is rubbed on the forehead, sometimes in the sign of the cross. The oil is rubbed on three times to symbolize the forgiveness of mistakes, the strengthening of faith, and the healing of the whole person. Hands are then laid on the head and prayers offered with everyone in the room concluding with the Lord’s Prayer in unison. The laying on of hands is used not only in anointing but also on occasions of sending persons forth in service. The practice of anointing and laying on hands points to our need for God and others in all situations.

© 2019 West Richmond Church of the Brethren. All Rights Reserved

Hours:
Sunday School: 9:45am – 10:45am
Sunday Worship: 11am
Office: Monday thru Friday 9am – 2pm

Phone Number:
804-288-6439
Address: 7612 Wanymala Road, Henrico, VA 23229
Email: wrcob@wrcob.org