223rd Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren
San Diego, California — June 30, 2009
“You know why only two Brethren will be found in heaven? Because they’re the two who were standing in the doorway keeping the rest out while they were having a conversation.” — Annual Conference moderator David Shumate, getting a laugh out of the delegates with his commentary on the rush for the doors after a lengthy business session
“All of us have to learn over and over again how much we need one another, and once we do that we’ve learned something that’s close to the heart of the Gospel.” — Annual Conference moderator David Shumate, in his closing remarks to the Conference
“The ecumenical movement is essentially at its core a gospel of peace. The Historic Peace Churches have known this more than others, but your denominational project has been too small…. You have gifts which the rest of the body (of the Christian church) desperately needs.” — National Council of Churches general secretary Michael Kinnamon, addressing the delegate body during the welcoming of ecumenical guests
“La Verne is the most diverse private university in the country. It really has changed, and I’m proud of that!” — Julia Wheeler, church relations staff for the University of La Verne, Calif., a Church of the Brethren-related school. She reported at the ULV Luncheon that the university has federal recognition as a Hispanic serving institution.
“I think there may be more similarities between our time and the early Brethren than we sometimes realize.” — Bethany Seminary president Ruthann Knechel Johansen, speaking during the seminary report
“The early Brethren became known for their triple dips.” — A. Mack, (first Brethren minister Alexander Mack, played by Larry Glick) in a skit during the Bethany Seminary report, referring to the Brethren mode of Baptism–or was that the Brethren love of ice cream?
“I am tremendously hopeful about the Church of the Brethren…because we are made for this time. We reside in the single most powerful empire since the Romans…a very violent society, a very individualistic country. We know the answers to those things, we know Jesus…. We know something about this time and we are made for now, if we would have the courage to live out our deep, faith-filled, radical love of Jesus.” — 2010 moderator Shawn Flory Replogle, in his remarks after the passing of the moderator’s gavel
A total of 2,077 people registered for the 2009 Annual Conference, including 670 delegates from congregations and districts, and 1,407 nondelegates.
The Conference Quilt Auction sponsored by the Association for the Arts in the Church of the Brethren (AACB) raised $6,275 for hunger relief.
The Blood Drive succeeded in surpassing its daily goal of 50 units. The drive was conducted by the American Red Cross and took place on two days over the weekend, with 121 units collected (out of 141 people who presented).
BBT 5K Fitness Challenge Walk/Run:
The annual BBT 5K Fitness Challenge was held on Sunday morning, June 28. The route took the 120 runners and walkers in a circuit around the Town and Country resort property. Results of the event: top male runner Jerry Crouse (18:34), top female runner Kelsi Beam (21:33), top male walker Don Shankster (30:10), top female walker Karen Crim (39.45).
Recognitions and Awards:
Annual Conference executive director Lerry Fogle, who is retiring following this Conference, was recognized at a reception on Sunday afternoon, June 28. He began his work with the 2003 Conference held in Boise, Idaho. Retirement plans include family time, golf, and travel–and a 2010 trip to the Oberammergau Passion Play in Germany, which is presented every 10 years.
The Caring Ministries of the Church of the Brethren presented Caregiving Awards at a dinner on Saturday, June 27. The awards honor people and congregations for extraordinary service to others. This year’s recipients included two couples, Dale and Beverly Minnich and Larry and Alice Petry. Paul Hoyt, Charles (Chuck) Cable, and Vernne Greiner also were honored.
Goshen (Ind.) City Church of the Brethren received the annual “Open Roof Award” to a Brethren congregation or organization for improved accessibility and participation by persons with disabilities.
Wrap ups of Conference:
The Wrap-Up video in DVD format, produced by David Sollenberger and sold through Brethren Press, is available for $29.95. The video offers a 25-minute look at the events of the Conference, plus bonus material. The Conference sermons in DVD format also are available, for $24.95. Order the DVDs from Brethren Press at 800-441-3712, a shipping and handling charge will be added.
The News Team for the 2009 Annual Conference includes photographers Glenn Riegel, Ken Wenger, Justin Hollenberg, Keith Hollenberg, and Kay Guyer; writers Karen Garrett, Frank Ramirez, Frances Townsend, Melissa Troyer, Rich Troyer; staff Becky Ullom and Amy Heckert. Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, editor. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.