Delegates affirm need for more equity on Mission and Ministry Board




General secretary Stan Noffsinger
Photo by Glenn Riegel
General secretary Stan Noffsinger was one of those responding to the delegate body, affirming the need for a revision of the membership structure for the denomination's Mission and Ministry Board.

Addressing a business item requesting more equitable representation for districts on the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board, the 2012 Annual Conference adopted the query and referred its concerns to the denominational board.

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The query, brought by Southern Pennsylvania District, concerns the current method of selection of members of the Mission and Ministry Board which uses geographical areas originally designed for Congregational Life Team staffing. A wide disparity between these areas in membership numbers has created a sense of unfairness in representation. Use of the geographical areas in selecting board members also means that some districts may not have anyone on the board for extended periods of time.

During the time for comment from the floor, the point was stressed that although people are named to the board from various areas, each board member represents the entire denomination.

Mission and Ministry Board chair Ben Barlow spoke, saying the board welcomes the query and will bring its recommendations back to Annual Conference.

One of the questions from the floor was about the timeline for receiving a recommendations for changes. General secretary Stan Noffsinger said the item would be on the board’s agenda for this October’s meeting.

-- Frances Townsend is a volunteer writer on the Annual Conference news team and pastor of Onekama (Mich.) Church of the Brethren

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