Quotes of the day:
“Go to the place that no one wants to go. And go with people you didn’t think you’d go with. And find Jesus there, trailing wisps of glory every step of the way.”
-- Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm, Brightbill Professor of Preaching and Worship at Bethany Theological Seminary, who brought this evening’s message for worship speaking on the text from Isaiah 58:6-12.
“We are dealing with a God of impossibilities. When we thought that there was no road he created a road for us. When we thought there was no hope he gave us hope. When we thought that Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria [EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria] had come to an end, he told us he was creating a new church.”
-- Dauda Gava, provost of EYN’s Kulp Bible College, who brought greetings to the congregation at worship and gave an update on the status of the Nigerian church that has suffered persecution and violence at the hands of Islamist extremists in Boko Haram. He thanked the Church of the Brethren for its support to EYN, saying, “You people are awesome!”
“Living Christ’s peace is the most we can do to end terrorism, if we really live it.... Living Christ’s peace is being faithful, and living Christ’s peace is being responsible.”
-- Robert C. Johansen, co-founder of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and professor emeritus at Notre Dame University, speaking for the Brethren Press and Messenger Dinner.
“There will be no lines for the Brethren at the microphones in heaven.”
-- A line from, and the title of, a song by Annual Conference moderator Andy Murray. He sang it at the close of the Conference business after having promised some people that he would sing it for the delegates but only if business finished early and if no one tried to amend an amendment.
The day began with the 5K walk and run sponsored by Brethren Benefit Trust. Business sessions continued in the morning and afternoon, with meal events and insights sessions over the lunch and dinner hours, and continuing this evening after worship. Age groups closed out their activities today. Worship was led by preacher Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm, and included an address from Dauda Gava, provost of Kulp Bible College of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) as the congregation received an offering for the Nigeria Crisis Fund.
New board-elected and constituency-elected leadership
Today the following were affirmed by the delegate body, listed by position:
Mission and Ministry Board: Diane Mason of Fairview Church of the Brethren in Northern Plains District
On Earth Peace board: Irvin R. Heishman of West Charleston Church of the Brethren in Southern Ohio District; Barbara Ann Rohrer of Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren in Western Plains District
Bethany Theological Seminary Board of Trustees: Cathy Simmons Huffman of Germantown Brick Church of the Brethren in Virlina District; Louis Harrell Jr. of Manassas Church of the Brethren in Mid-Atlantic District; Karen O. Crim of Beavercreek Church of the Brethren in Southern Ohio District; David McFadden of Manchester Church of the Brethren in South Central Indiana District
The following appointments were reported to the Conference:
Brethren Benefit Trust board: Eunice Culp of West Goshen Church of the Brethren in Northern Indiana District; Eric P. Kabler of Moxham Church of the Brethren in Western Pennsylvania District; Thomas B. McCracken of York First Church of the Brethren in Southern Pennsylvania District
Junior high group adopts queries
The junior high group this morning was led in a query-writing session and mock business session by former Annual Conference moderator Nancy Sollenberger Heishman. The group created a Standing Committee and delegate body, and ended up with three queries related to creation care. The queries “Better Re-using of Earth’s Resources” and “Reducing Pesticide Use” were both approved by the delegate body, while a third query, “Helping Persons Affected by Climate Change,” was not approved. The moderator did not keep a record of vote counts. Standing Committee members were Miriam Erbaugh, Isaac Kraenbring, Molly Stover-Brown, Noah Jones, Kyle Yenser, and Sean Therrien. “It was a great experience,” Heishman said.
By the numbers:
2,439: final registration total for the 2016 Annual Conference, including 704 delegates and 1,735 nondelegates
$9,986.49: final total for Wednesday evening’s offering
2,043: attendance at Wednesday evening worship
$12,912.54: final total for Thursday evening’s offering
1,855: attendance at Thursday evening worship
$9,672.45: final total for Friday evening’s offering
1,813: attendance at Friday evening worship
$23,043.59: total Saturday evening’s offering for the Nigeria Crisis Fund
1,632: attendance at Saturday evening worship
161 participants in the Conference blood drive, donating an estimated 160 pints of blood, which will help 466 people
$2,793.24 cash donations to the Backpack Beginnings in the Witness to the Host City
$815 cash donations to the Encore Boutique as part of the Witness to the Host City
$10,050 raised by the AACB Quilt Auction for world hunger relief, plus $877 raised in a silent auction of Nigerian dresses, and $2,000 given toward “Gifts of the Heart”
$7,300-plus raised at the Ted & Co. production of “12 Baskets and a Goat” benefiting Heifer International. Donations continue to be received online.
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.