By Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
On the final afternoon of the 2016 Annual Conference, delegates dealt with the last of the queries still on the business agenda: two queries having to do with On Earth Peace’s agency status and accountability to Annual Conference, and a query titled “Living Together as Christ Calls.” Find links to the full texts of these queries online at www.brethren.org/ac/2016/business .
Queries about On Earth Peace are referred to Review and Evaluation Committee
The queries regarding On Earth Peace, one from West Marva District and one from Southeastern District, were combined in one response. The delegate body adopted the recommendation from the Standing Committee of district delegates, after some time of conversation at the microphones.
The Conference referred the two queries to the Review and Evaluation Committee for its consideration, “recognizing that the Review and Evaluation Committee has the responsibility to consider the balance and unity of denominational agencies.”
During the Standing Committee’s deliberations, the recommendation to refer came after a motion made by the Southeastern District delegate was defeated, that would have recommended “On Earth Peace shall no longer continue as an agency of the Church of the Brethren.”
Every decade a Review and Evaluation Committee is elected to review and evaluate Church of the Brethren organization, structure, and function. Its mandate includes a wide ranging list of things to look into, such as how well church agencies collaborate, what level of interest church members have in denominational program, how denominational program connects with goals and programs of districts, among others. Members are Tim Harvey, chair, from Virlina District; Ben S. Barlow, Shenandoah District; Leah J. Hileman, Atlantic Northeast District; Robert D. Kettering, Atlantic Northeast District; and David Shumate, Virlina District. The group brought an interim report this year and will complete its work in 2017.
‘Query: Living Together as Christ Calls’ is referred to Mission and Ministry Board
The delegate body adopted the recommendation of Standing Committee on “Query: Living Together as Christ Calls,” and referred the query to the Mission and Ministry Board, which is the board of the Church of the Brethren denomination and directs the work of the denominational staff. The query came from Pacific Southwest District and La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren.
Conversation in the Standing Committee expressed strong support for the query’s call for the Church of the Brethren to work on the tensions being expressed across the church at this time, and to work on developing strategies to aid the church in “treating one another in a truly Christ-like manner.”
The 2016 Annual Conference News Team includes: writers Frank Ramirez, Frances Townsend, Karen Garrett, Tyler Roebuck, Monica McFadden; photographers Glenn Riegel, Regina Holmes, Keith Hollenberg, Donna Parcell, Laura Brown; Conference Journal editor Eddie Edmonds; web manager Jan Fischer Bachman; web staff Russ Otto; editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford.