What does it mean to be in a "sister church" relationship with the San Juan congregation? Why do we enter into such an arrangement? What are the nitty-gritty details to consider? To answer these questions, the "National Conference" of the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic (equivalent to our Mid-Atlantic District - recognizing that this is another country, and Brethren who need to chart their own unique course there) approved the following "goals and guidelines." These were established in conjunction with the "General Board" of our denomination, which is elected by Annual Conference to give shape to the mission the Church of the Brethren, as envisioned by Annual Conference.

Sister Churches

The Church of the Brethren in the USA/PR and la Conferencia de Iglesias de los Hermanos en la RD

Goals and Guidelines



1. Encourage unity in Christ among the churches by creating and nurturing mutual relationships characterized by prayer, interchanges between the communities, visits and learning to know each other.

2. Edify the churches spiritually with greater understanding between different cultures and races.

3. Share economic resources in ways that reflect the teachings of the Lord and that edify the Church.

4. Enable both congregations to articulate and mature in their own faith.



1) Each church will have a Sister Church Committee to communicate and continue follow-up in the relationship with the sister church.

a) Pray and give encouragement to one another.

b) Regularly bring issues related to the sister church relationship before the board and the congregation.

2) Encourage visits between the members to learn and know more about the church and the work of the people. Maintain a spirit of interchange in the visits between the churches. If there is a conference or other educational event, invite members to come and grow in their spiritual life.

a) Due to the inequity in economic resources between the rich and the poor, the church in the United States should help those who can come to visit with their expenses for plane fare, food, ground transportation and lodging.

b) Ideas for exchanges could include: family to family; farmer to farmer, youth to youth; pastor to pastor; music or drama groups, teachers, nurses or doctors among others.

c) If there are visits which require solicitation of visas, these visa solicitations should be channeled through the National Board (DR) and the General Board (US).


3) Maintain communication and inform one another about the state of development and change in the churches with a spirit of openness and honesty. When a crisis occurs, coordinate activities that are necessary to support the other congregation.

a) Commit to share letters, photos, statistical reports, pictorial directories, faxes, electronic mail and telephone calls to communicate with the other church.

b) Commit to learn the language (Spanish or English) and study the culture of the other church. Have designated representatives who can translate whatever communication comes for everyone in the church.


4) Work in favor of numerical and spiritual growth in the related churches.

a) Provide encouragement/inspiration by attending worship, preaching points and baptisms when possible.

5) Share the economic blessings of God with the clear purpose of building up the church, the conference and the denomination.

a) Take into consideration the needs of the community.

b) Examine the available resources and the talents of people in the community.

c) Share economic resources only within the guidelines or policies approved by the National Board (DR) and the General Board (US/PR):

Support of the National Board and/or of the General Board - Every sister congregation should try to give no less than 10% of her annual income as support for the ministry of the denomination (ministries of the National Board congregation in the case of churches in the DR or for ministries of the District, General Board or of the denomination in the case of churches in the US/PR).

Partner Funds - In this program, each congregation provides 50% of the money to support a ministry project. Ideally, these funds will be designated for capital improvement projects or for a one-time ministry and not to support the operational ministries of the sister congregations.

Rotating Program of Studies - Each congregation may contribute to the Rotating Program of Studies Fund up to a combined total (between the two congregations) of funds equivalent to the amount approved by the Supervisory Committee (DR) to be disbursed to the university students of those congregations.

Special Projects (church building construction, pews, Bibles, etc.): Each congregation will participate according to the guidelines and rules established by the National Board and the General Board so that the entire church is edified through sister church participation in these projects. All of the projects that include an exchange of economic resources must be approved by the National Board and the General Board.

Procedure for channeling resources: Any exchange of economic resources should be channeled through the General Board and the National Board in order to insure the well-being and unity of the national church in each country.


6) No relationship should be maintained in a unilateral way outside of the Conference (National Board) or of the General Board (US/PR). The National Board and the General Board will decide when each church begins and with which other church they will have a sister church relationship. If a church already has a strong relationship with another church they should tell the board and ask to be a sister church. No church should have more than one sister church.


7) Any proposal to change these goals and guidelines for the sister churches should come before the National Board and the General Board.


Approved by the National Board of the Dominican Conference of Churches
meeting at Las Yayas, Azua, 10, December, 2000.



Return to "Between Long Green and San Juan" page

Return to main Long Green Valley Church page