Annual Conference Posts New Polity and Survey, Announces Fee Increase

Church of the Brethren Newsline
Aug. 3, 2009

Online posting of a recent polity statement from the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference and a survey about the Conference, and an announcement of a fee increase for the 2010 Conference have been issued by the Conference Office.

The Program and Arrangements Committee of the Annual Conference has announced an increase in the registration fees, beginning with the 2010 Conference. Executive director Lerry Fogle has indicated that “the increase in registration fees, good for 2010 and 2011, was done in response to expanding costs of arranging and holding the annual meeting.” Also, he added a reminder that “this is the first raise in registration fees in five years.” The new fee schedule replaces fees in place from 2005-09.

The new polity on dealing with controversial issues, established by the 2009 Annual Conference, including a new process for special response queries, has been posted at the Conference website. The process for handling special response queries was immediately put to use for the query on “Covenantal Relationship.” The framework for handling controversial issues is now available at the following link: http://www.cobannualconference.org/PPG/NB_1%20A_Structural_Framework_for_Dealing_With_Controversial_Issues.pdf  . Or click on “Polity, Policy & Guidelines” at the Annual Conference homepage at www.cobannualconference.org and go to “A Structural Framework for Dealing with Strongly Controversial Issues (Special Response).”

In another development, an “Annual Conference Survey” is being conducted by the Program and Arrangements Committee to gauge preferences and attendance patterns for Annual Conferences. The survey was made available in printed form at the 2009 Annual Conference in San Diego, and is now available online at www.cobannualconference.org/forms/survey.html  .

“You are invited to register your thoughts about Annual Conference, its value to the denomination, and assist Program and Arrangements Committee in charting future direction of the annual meeting, its frequency and content,” said Fogle. “Your feedback is encouraged.”

The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. Contact cobnews@brethren.org  to receive Newsline by e-mail or to submit news to the editor. For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

Brethren in the News

Obituary: Brigitte H. Olmstead, Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Va. (Aug. 2, 2009). Brigitte H. Olmstead, 67, of Fredericksburg, Va., died on July 31 at her residence with her husband at her side. She was born Dec. 28, 1941, in Berlin, Germany. She leaves behind her husband of 42 years, Larry Olmstead. A celebration of life service will be held Aug. 5 at Hollywood Church of the Brethren in Fredericksburg, Va. http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/

Obituary: Hollie J. McCutcheon, News Leader, Staunton, Va. (July 31, 2009). Hollie J. McCutcheon passed away at Salem (Va.) Hospital on July 29. He was retired from working for McQuay in Verona, Va. He is survived by his wife, Jo Ann C. McCutcheon. A memorial service will be held Aug. 3 at White Hill Church of the Brethren in Stuarts Draft, Va. http://www.newsleader.com/article/20090731/

“Called to serve,” Waterloo Cedar Falls (Iowa) Courier (July 30, 2009). “The desire to do full-time ministry came later in life. Or perhaps, mused the Rev. David Whitten, it took him several decades to notice it,” reports an article on the new ministry by David Whitten and his wife, Judith, at South Waterloo Church of the Brethren in Iowa. “It was really pretty much a strong sense of calling,” Whitten said. Originally from Virginia, he has served two stints as a mission worker in Africa and put in 10 years as a pastor. http://www.wcfcourier.com/articles/

“Church offers food relief program,” Carroll County (Ind.) Comet (July 29, 2009). Living Faith Church of the Brethren in Flora, Ind., is helping people reduce food costs through the nonprofit organization, Angel Food Ministries. The church started offering the program to help people in these tough economic times. The purpose of the national ministry is to provide quality, nutritious food at significant discounts. http://www.carrollcountycomet.com/news/

 “Wedding procession at ELCA church a YouTube sensation,” The Lutheran (July 24, 2009). Church of the Brethren minister Jeannine Leonard presided over a wedding that has become a YouTube sensation. The wedding was held at Christ Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minn. The couple have become instant celebrities thanks to a video of their unconventional dance down the aisle, which they posted on YouTube in order to share it with family and friends. “The Lutheran” magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) reported that the wedding of Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz took place on June 20, and by July 24 there were more than 1.5 million views of the five-minute aisle dance. The wedding party was scheduled to do an encore of the dance for the Today Show on July 25. http://www.thelutheran.org/blog/index.cfm?page_id

View the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-94JhLEiN0

Obituary: Odell B. Reynolds, News Leader, Staunton, Va. (July 20, 2009). Odell Byers Reynolds, 83, of Buena Vista, died on July 18 at her home in Stuarts Draft, Va. She was a life long member of Oronoco Church of the Brethren in Vesuvius, Va. She was retired from Kenney’s in Buena Vista. She was preceded in death by her first husband, H. Warren Byers, and her second husband Harry Reynolds. http://www.newsleader.com/article/

“From compost to gardens for new vegetables,” Reporter News, North Penn, Pa. (July 19, 2009). Peter Becker Community, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in Franconia, Pa., is reaping tasty new rewards for recycling. Its dining service, Cura Hospitality, has begun on-site composting, with the final result to be used for the residents’ vegetable gardens. “So far it’s been very successful,” said Bill Richman, the Cura general manager. http://www.thereporteronline.com/articles/

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