Board sees new congregational survey tool, names at-large member, among other business




Board members heard about learnings from a new congregational survey
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
Board members heard about learnings from a new congregational survey, one of several new tools in development as part of the Vital Ministry Journey for congregations and districts. The survey tool was presented by Congregational Life executive Jonathan Shively and Stan Dueck, director of Transforming Practices.

Mission and Ministry Board members got a glimpse of a new congregational survey that will be part of the Vital Ministry Journey for churches and districts, named a new at-large member pending affirmation at Annual Conference, reviewed financial reports from 2012, and made a small change to the 2013 budget among other business at the spring meeting.

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-- Preliminary learnings from a congregational survey that will be a resource for those participating in the Vital Ministry Journey were presented by Congregational Life Ministries executive director Jonathan Shively and Stan Dueck, director of Transforming Practices. The survey will help congregations do self assessment, as they work toward vitality and renewal. Congregational Life Ministries staff had invited some members of the board to help test the instrument. It is one of several Vital Ministry Journey resources that are being developed and will be announced as they become available. Also in the works are resources for spiritual gifts discernment and worship, each involving Bible study and a “triads” small group process for use in congregations. For more information go to www.brethren.org/congregationallife/vmj .

-- The denominational budget revision for 2013 is to cover planning expenses incurred this year for the National Youth Conference (NYC) to be held next year. Almost $75,000 of anticipated expenses will be paid out of NYC reserves that have accumulated from previous years.

-- Connie Burk Davis of Westminster, Md., was named to fill an at-large position on the Mission and Ministry Board, pending affirmation from Annual Conference.

-- The board is requesting an amendment to the bylaws of the corporation to enlarge the number of at-large executive committee members to three from two, who will serve on the executive committee alongside the chair and vice chair. Continuing on the committee as ex-officio members are the general secretary and the Annual Conference moderator. This action is intended to increase communication lines between the executive committee and the full board.

-- The board approved the 2012 Annual Report that will be presented to Annual Conference.

-- A digital version of “Messenger” magazine that soon will be available as a bonus for print subscribers debuted at this board meeting. Editor Randy Miller and publisher Wendy McFadden displayed the digital magazine, to oohs and aahs from board members who expressed enthusiasm for the development.

Roy Winter gives a final report of the work of Brethren Disaster Ministries in Haiti
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
Roy Winter gives a final report of the work of Brethren Disaster Ministries in Haiti, where more than 100 homes have been built and other programs have cared for those affected by the 2010 earthquake and the storms and hurricanes that have hit the island in recent years.

-- Among reports received: a final report on the work of Brethren Disaster Ministries in Haiti, a report from leaders who attended the annual meeting of Christian Churches Together (CCT) highlighting the need to focus on immigration, a report from a delegation that went to Israel and Palestine with an American Baptist group, followed up by a report from John and Joyce Cassel who served in Israel and Palestine for three months with EAPPI, an accompaniment program of the World Council of Churches.

-- Find a link to the photo album of the Mission and Ministry Board’s spring meeting at www.brethren.org/album . View two video clips from the meeting, including the Sunday morning message given by board chair Ben Barlow and the recommendation to recognize the Church of the Brethren in Spain, at www.brethren.org/video .

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