Conference Approves Report of Congregational Ethics Study Committee

by France Townsend

Photo by Glenn Riegel
Josh Brockway presents the report on congregational ethics to the 2011 Annual Conference. The report was made at the opening business session on Sunday afternoon, July 3, 2011.

In response to the “Guidelines for Implementation of the Congregational Ethics Paper” query adopted in 2010, a study committee brought recommendations to this year’s Annual Conference. The committee recommended that the 1993 “Ethics in Congregations” paper be reviewed, revised, and updated. The revised document would also include guidelines and suggestions for a denominational process of accountability. The report recommends “that these revisions be facilitated by Congregational Life Ministries staff in collaboration with the Council of District Executives and the Office of Ministry.”

Joshua Brockway, director of Spiritual Life and Discipleship for the Church of the Brethren, presented the report on behalf of the committee. He remarked that although other denominations have long had policies regarding ministerial ethics, the Church of the Brethren may have been the first denomination to adopt an ethics document for congregations. He also noted that going as far back in history as the book of Acts, Christians have met together to consider actions of faith and how to live out Christian values and principles.

A question from the floor concerned whether the revised and updated paper would come back to Annual Conference for approval. Brockway stated that it would come back for Conference action. He added that in the meantime, he expected a thorough process of consultation and review, which would take more than a year’s time to accomplish.

Coverage of the 2011 Annual Conference is by the News Team of Jan Fischer-Bachman, Mandy Garcia, Karen Garrett, Amy Heckert, Regina Holmes, Frank Ramirez, Glenn Riegel, Frances Townsend, and editor and news director Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford. Wendy McFadden serves as executive director of Brethren Press. Contact

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