The Church of the Brethren Annual Conference has requested Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) to expand guidelines for the denomination’s memorial tribute for church leaders who have died during the year before each Conference.
The annual tribute is given as a multimedia presentation at Annual Conference, and serves as a remembrance of denominational church leaders including pastors and lay leaders.
The guidelines are being expanded in an effort to include remembrance of more Brethren leaders. “We have worked on new guidelines this year, trying to honor national Brethren leaders who are not in the Pension Plan, in addition to Brethren Pension Plan members and their spouses,” said Nevin Dulabaum, BBT’s director of Communications.
“This is a national tribute of national leaders,” Dulabaum emphasized. “This does not preclude other agencies, districts, or congregations from honoring former servants who are now deceased. And so while there may be individuals omitted from this tribute who some believe should be honored, the Annual Conference officers and BBT staff did their best to come up with guidelines that will hopefully honor those recognized Brethren leaders who served on a national level.”
The new guidelines call on the Church of the Brethren districts and the Annual Conference agencies to participate in the process. “BBT does not know who all of these people are,” said Dulabaum. “Districts and agencies are being asked to assist in the identification of people to be included in the tribute and the acquisition of photos.” Each district and agency are asked to name a representative to help nominate Brethren leaders who should be included in the tribute, and to help ensure that their photos are sent to the BBT office.
The new guidelines were proposed by BBT in response to the Annual Conference request, and were adapted and accepted by the Annual Conference officers. The Conference officers will oversee the process of collecting names and photos for the tribute, and BBT will continue to produce the tribute and assist with logistical matters.
The new guidelines have been sent to the five Annual Conference agencies, the Church of the Brethren districts, all Church of the Brethren congregations, and Brethren-related camps. The guidelines, including a form to nominate a name for the memorial and a list of categories of people to be included in the memorial, are also available at http://www.brethrenbenefittrust.org/ (go to “Pension Plan,” click on the “Forms” link).