Peace, Art, & Community Room

We need your input!

This space needs an official name. You are welcome to read about our vision and goals for this space as it relates to social justice advocacy, art, and community below. Given our vision and uses for this space, we came up with two name options: The PAX Room, or The Ploughshares Room.

  1. The PAX Room (aka PAX) The idea for this name is that it is the intersection of Peace, Art, and Community – Pax in Latin is Peace. the “A” in PAX stands for Art, and the X is the intersection of the two along with Community.
  2. The Plowshares Room. This name was inspired by our Guns into Plowshares event that happened at the church this past summer. We are committed to using this room as a space focused on justice and peace and transformation through art and community.

Click below to choose one of these suggestions, or offer a new one.

A Space for Community, Fellowship, and Creation

A few years ago, the space in the bottom level of our church building were storage rooms. Divided by a temporary wall, this space was used to store anything from produce for our former Brethren Nutritional Program to candelabras for our sanctuary. It has been a goal of ours to re-imagine this space from storage to something that better fits our values. We applied for and received the Mid Atlantic District’s Core Mini Grant, which funds small projects to focus on the Church of the Brethren’s (CoB) new compelling vision of “Jesus in the Neighborhood”. We also applied for and recieved the CoB’s Faith in Action Grant that encourages congregations to create outreach ministry projects for their communities.

Our Community Arts Minister, Jessie Houff, has coordinated the renovation and cleanup of this space to be used for a number of events. After two years of clean-up days, planning, and reorganizing, this space is now one large space for many different purposes!

Our emerging vision for this room:

  1. Arts Ministry efforts such as an Art Gallery to display art by artists local & across the country and other arts programming (such as arts workshops & movie nights)
  2. Events, trainings, and workshops focused on peacemaking, conflict resolution, and nonviolence; 
  3. Activities and events related to social justice and equity, in DC, the U.S. broadly, and globally   
  4. Events related to the Community Garden
  5. List the space for local organizations, youth groups, churches, etc. to rent for special events/programming
  6. Other special church events and meetings


We would like to give huge thanks to those who assisted in the process of cleaning and getting the space to where it is today:

Friends from Oakton CoB in Vienna, VA; friends from Manassas CoB in Manassas, VA; friends from Arlington CoB; our Facility manager, Duncan Wiles and local DC contractors; Washington City congregation members and other volunteers: Agnes, Jacob, Nate, Jenn, little A, Jeff, Malachi; Administrative Council members: Bryan, Jerry, Sally, Jess, and Nate. We could not have done this without you! Scroll down to see the “Before” and “After” pictures of the space.

Work Day Photos:

Photos by Jessie Houff

Before and After Photos…

Photos by Jessie Houff and Duncan Wiles

Before… After!

From 2020-2022, Jessie Houff served as the Community Arts Minister at Washington City. Jessie’s main project, along with starting an arts ministry, was creating this room for all things art and social justice.

Jessie is an artist who hails from Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and is currently based in Baltimore, Maryland. Jessie uses the Church of the Brethren core values of living simply, peacefully, and together in her artwork and daily life. She has used her Master of Fine Art Degree in Community Arts to start this ministry at WCCOB.

After two years of ministry, Jessie has accepted positions at Wesley Theological Seminary in Northwest DC as an Adjunct Professor, Community Arts Coordinator for the Arts and Religion Department, and the Communications and Events Coordinator for the Development Office. So, she’s staying busy.

Jessie wants to thank everyone who came together to make this dream become a reality Thank you for trusting her and helping her flourish as a struggling artist in this weird, crazy world.

If you’d like to contact Jessie, email her at