(Adopted by the 1979 Annual Conference)
In view of the opportunities and needs of our denomination there are great possibilities for growth in our life together and in our mission in the world. There are things that we can do to strengthen our quality of life within our denomination that can also increase our effectiveness in the world.
We believe that we are called by God to take responsibility for our life and work together. This includes hearing concerns for our people and responding. This includes facing changes that take place in our world. This includes being open to and evaluating new awareness.
A major challenge which is increasing in importance, which we have not faced squarely and which must be dealt with honestly, with integrity and love, is representative leadership. Our biblical and Church of the Brethren heritage impresses upon us the responsibility to sense the ‘fullness of time’ and to answer God’s call to decide. We believe now is the time for us to establish goals to move us forward and we recommend the adoption of the following:
- to provide for fair and equitable participation by all of our people – men, women, various ages, racial and ethnic minorities, rural and urban segments of our church;
- to recognize and utilize the spiritual gifts and skills of our people;
- to meet the needs of our denomination in the task to be performed, and the people to be served;
- to call out those of deep Christian commitment and qualifications for specific tasks to serve the larger church;
- to seek to be faithful in our mission of proclaiming the Good News and doing the work of world ministry;
- to develop an effective plan that will be in practice by 1982.
Recommendations for Implementing the Goals for Annual Conference Elections and Appointments
The following nominating procedures have been adopted by Annual Conference and/or Standing Committee in the effort to implement the above Annual Conference action of 1979:
- That Standing Committee will submit the first ballot of four names. That ballot would be distributed to only Standing Committee who would vote and reduce the initial ballot to its tentative final form. This tentative final ballot would be distributed to the denomination at large in February. (AC 2001)
- The Nominating Committee chairperson explain the goals, needs, and all procedures to the Standing Committee…since first year Standing Committee members are usually not aware of the needs of the boards and committees. This brief educational process should be repeated when the official ballot is presented to the Conference delegates. (AC 1979)
- That in fairness to all nominees, a nomination from the floor must be made by name only at the time the ballot is being introduced to Annual Conference delegates. Biographic information and written consent by the nominee must be submitted to the Conference secretary at this time for publication and distribution. (AC 1979)
- In 1983, Standing Committee issued a “Call to Accountability for Equality of Representation on Annual Conference Ballots,” in which the Nominating Committee was authorized to use at-large categories in the structure of ballots to correct any imbalances of representation.
- Annual Conference delegates are reminded annually to reaffirm age/gender/ethnic representation as defined by the “Call to Accountability for Equality of Representation on Annual Conference Ballots.” (AC 2001)
- Congregations, districts, and denominational agencies shall redouble their efforts to do quality leadership development. Persons need to be called out and prepared prior to being chosen for denominational leadership. Leadership experience in a community of faith and sensitivity to the guidance of the Spirit are extremely valuable to those called. Persons with such background can serve the church well. (AC 2001)
- Agencies, districts, and congregations are encouraged to redouble their efforts to identify and call forth ethnic/minority leadership in our denomination. Nominees for denominational leadership are encouraged to have participated in at least one Intercultural event in the past five years. (AC 2001) (AC 2007)