At the invitation of the General Secretary, 25 to 30 Church of the Brethren members will convene on March 28-30 for a leadership summit in northern Virginia. Participants hold both formal and informal leadership positions within the Church of the Brethren. The purpose of the summit is to prayerfully examine the dynamics of leadership needed in the church today.
“Given the current state of the church,” said general secretary Stan Noffsinger, “now is an important time to gather together a group of leaders from across the Church of the Brethren, in order to consider how the church may move forward from this place and time.”
According to Mary Jo Flory-Steury, associate general secretary, the summit has been convened neither to set policies nor to make any decisions. Rather, said Jayne Seminare Docherty, one of the facilitators for the event, “We are seeking to create a kind of ‘learning laboratory’ where leaders will engage in conversations about how they can more effectively assist the whole church engage Christ’s call to live according to kingdom values while engaging in deliberation and decision making about difficult issues.”
A professor of leadership and public policy at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., Docherty recently returned to the US from four years in Myanmar (Burma), where she worked to develop inclusive peace processes and culturally appropriate negotiation practices. Co-facilitator Roger Foster, a graduate of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, also spent the last six months in Myanmar with Docherty, working with religious and civil society organizations who were focusing on strategic leadership development.