Annual Conference Bits and Pieces

Many people including church staff, volunteers, artists, designers, writers, videographers, and even handyman have been working hard on the exhibits and presentations for Annual Conference. Above, Elgin artist Mark Demel paints one of the doors that will be part of the church’s live report this year. Below, a group puts together the Church of the Brethren exhibit, also centered on doors as symbols of the theme, “Jesus Moved into the Neighborhood” (John 1:14, The Message).

— A room change has been announced for the Ministers’ Association pre-Conference gathering July 6-7. The event featuring biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann will now meet in Room 131 of the America’s Center convention center in St. Louis. The room change has been made because of good registration numbers, and it gives more space for those who wish to register at the door. Registration will be available beginning at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon, July 6. The event begins at 6 p.m. that afternoon and concludes at 3:35 p.m. on July 7.

— Young adults going to Annual Conference are invited to an opportunity to get to know moderator-elect Bob Krouse. Young adults will meet with Krouse in the Young Adult Room #253 on Sunday, July 8, from 4:45-5:45 p.m.

— The Global Women’s Project is inviting Conference-goers to “take a break from meetings and workshops to stop by our booth for a cup of tea.” Tea-time is  4:45 p.m. Monday, July 9, in the Exhibit Hall. “Come and meet members of the steering committee and learn about our partner projects, worship and Lenten resources, gifts for Mother’s Day, and more. Let us know which aspects of GWP’s work inspire you!” said the invitation.

— A new Dunker Guide from Brethren Press will debut at the Annual Conference bookstore. “A Dunker Guide to Brethren Belief” is a collection of 20 essays, each focusing on a core Brethren belief. The essays are written by 20 members of Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren–some former clergy, some lay people–and edited by Guy E. Wampler. Charles Denlinger is assistant editor, and the foreword is by Jeff Bach of the Young Center at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. The essays are intended to help the reader engage topics such as salvation, baptism, or simplicity. Discussion questions help individuals or small groups take the themes even further. Brethren Press hopes the book will be used in new membership classes and small group studies. “It’s a great introduction on core Brethren values and beliefs,” according to James Deaton, Brethren Press managing editor for books and study resources. “A Dunker Guide to Brethren History” and “A Dunker Guide to the Bible” are the two previous books in the series. Buy the new Dunker Guide at the Brethren Press bookstore in St. Louis, or order from or 800-441-3712 for $12.95 plus shipping and handling.

— Voices for an Open Spirit (VOS) will celebrate 10 years at its Annual Meeting and Celebration at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10. The gathering takes place in Rooms 101-102 of the America’s Center. A VOS announcement said the event also will hear plans for the Progressive Brethren Fall Gathering to be held on Oct. 26-28 at La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren on the theme, “Holy Work: Becoming a Beloved Community.”

— In a recent newsletter, Western Plains District lauded the volunteer coordinators who are helping to make this year’s Annual Conference possible. “What a great opportunity we have in the Midwest to host the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in St. Louis!” the newsletter said. Phil and Pearl Miller of Warrensburg, Mo., and Stephanie Sappington of Brentwood, Mo., are site co-coordinators. Ronda Neher of Grundy Center, Iowa, is the early childhood coordinator. Barbara Flory of McPherson, Kan., is coordinator for grades K-2. Rhonda Pittman Gingrich of Minneapolis is coordinating activities for grades 3-5. Walt Wiltschek of N. Manchester, Ind., is junior high coordinator. Becky and Jerry Crouse of Warrensburg, Mo., are senior high coordinators. Barb Lewczak of Minburn, Iowa, is coordinating young adult activities. Lisa Irle, also of Warrensburg, is coordinator for single adults. Barbara J. Miller of Waterloo, Iowa, is registration coordinator. Gary and Beth Gahm of Raytown, Mo., are responsible for the information booth. Martha Louise Baile and Melody Irle, both of Warrensburg, are coordinating ticket sales. Diana Smith of Warsaw, Mo., is head usher. Hospitality coordinators are Mary Winsor and Jim Tomlonson of Warrensburg, and Lois and Bill Grove of Council Bluffs, Iowa.

— All those from South-Central Indiana District who are attending Annual Conference are invited to meet for lunch on Monday, July 9, at the Food Court in the America’s Center. “Please bring a lunch and eat together,” said an invitation in the district newsletter.

For a full schedule of Annual Conference go to .

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