The Church of the Brethren earlier this year received a check of $50,000 from Brethren Mutual Aid Agency and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company, representing a benefit earned through the Ministry Partner Program. The denomination’s Leadership Team has decided to use the money to fund work to frame a “compelling vision” for the denomination, with $1,000 provided to the Finance Office to cover costs of administering the money.
The new vision effort was set in motion by Annual Conference this past summer, when recommendations from the Leadership Team and the Council of District Executives were adopted. The recommendations were related to a report titled “The Authority of Annual Conference and Districts regarding the Accountability of Ministers, Congregations, and Districts,” which came to the Conference as a response to the concerns of “Query: Same Sex Weddings” (see the Newsline story at www.brethren.org/news/2017/delegates-adopt-answer-to-query-same-sex-weddings.html ).
Brethren Mutual Aid is the sponsoring agency for the Ministry Partner Program for the Church of the Brethren. In order to participate, a ministry must be the governing structure, such as a denomination; must have at least 50 members; and must recommend Brotherhood Mutual to its membership for property and casualty insurance. There are two ways to earn benefits, through partner payments and through Safe Ministry Rewards. The Church of the Brethren denominational partnership includes the denominational organization and those Church of the Brethren congregations, camps, and districts that also participate.