Who We Are
Shepherd's Heart was established in the 1970s under a different name, Osceola Church of the Brethren. We changed this name in 2015 in an effort to choose a name we felt represented our ideas and values more than a location & denomination. We are still very much a part of the Church of the Brethren but now we have another vision in mind - to have a Shepherd's Heart. Christ, our Good Shepherd, led by example the kind of life we should live and how we should love one another. We claim our purpose as this: To Lead People to Christ, to Equip Individuals for a Life of Ministry and Mission, and to Worship and Fellowship as a Family of God. We believe that God is calling us to a missional vision of a community of believers that embodies the very heart and soul of Jesus Christ and His love for all of humankind. This vision compels each of us to become Christ-like in living and to embrace the fact that we are being sent by God to be in partnership with Him in ministering to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of every person that God allows us to meet. We strive to live and love as Christ lived and loved, and with these purposes at the forefront, by prayer, mercy, and grace: we believe we can.
What We Believe
The following teachings that arise in the New
Testament are basic to our faith and are held in
common by this congregation:
We believe the Bible is the unique revelation
of God and it is fully and equally inspired in all
its parts, and is the final authority for the
Christian faith & living.
We believe in one God, eternally existent in three persons; the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit, creator of all things, and infinitely perfect in His being and works.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; He is true God and true man, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, was offered up on a cross, died for the sins of the world, and was raised back to life on the third day.
We believe Jesus is the only way of salvation, that God was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world to Himself, pardoning the sins of those who believe and trust in Him for eternal life.
We believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who works to lead sinners to God and to guide believers in their life in Christ.
We believe in the church, both in the universal fellowship of all believers, and in the local church, which is ordained of God for a community of worship, fellowship, training and service for all believers. We believe Jesus is the true head of the church, that He has ordained practices to be observed by the church which include:
*baptism of believers by triune immersion
*observance of the Lord's Supper (love feast) and the bread and the cup
*washing of the saint's feet
*laying on of hands
*annointing and prayer for healing of the sick.
What is the
Church of the Brethren?
Continuing the Work of Jesus...
The Brethren as a group have existed for more than 300 years but ascribe to no formal 'creed'. They simply try to do what
Jesus brought the 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, we seek to do the same.
Whether the conflict involves warring nations, racial discord, theological dispute, personal disagreement or mere misunderstanding, Brethren listen conscientiously, seek guidance in the scriptures, and work toward reconciliation. We practice peaceful living.
Our 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 our faith, we 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.
Years 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, we try to simplify our lives. Practicing a modest nonconformity, we think carefully about our daily choices. The ideal of simplicity guides our decisions: How will we conduct our business, raise our children, spend our leisure time, tend our natural resources? How will we use our money, and why? How can we live comfortably, but without excess or ostentation?
For the Brethren, such considerations are not a requirement, but a privilege. As we seek to live intentionally, responsibly and simply, we find a deep sense of purpose. And we find joy.
Whether worshipping, serving, learning, or celebrating, Brethren act in community. Together, we study the Bible to discern God's will; we make decisions as a group, and each person's voice matters.
During our traditional Love Feast, we gather at the table of the Lord, and each summer at Annual Conference we convene as a denominational family. Because Jesus urged unity, Brethren work alongside other denominations, at home and abroad, in worldwide mission and outreach.
Our congregations welcome all who wish to share with us in another way of living: the way of Christian discipleship, life in community, fulfillment in service.
Church of the Brethren: Continuing the work of Jesus - peacefully, simply, together.