The Standing Committee of district delegates has released a ballot for the 2013 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren. The Conference takes place June 29-July 3 in Charlotte, N.C. Nominees are listed below, by position:
Moderator-elect: Frances S. Beam of Concord, N.C.; David Steele of Martinsburg, Pa.
Annual Conference Program and Arrangements Committee: Evelyn Brubaker of Ephrata, Pa.; Shawn Flory Replogle of McPherson, Kan.
Bethany Theological Seminary trustee, representing clergy: Dava Cruise Hensley of Roanoke, Va.; Frank Ramirez of Everett, Pa.
Bethany Theological Seminary trustee, representing laity: Donna Shumate of Sparta, N.C.; David Minnich of Hillsborough, N.C.
On Earth Peace Board: David William Fouts of Maysville, W.Va.; Chris Riley of Luray, Va.
Brethren Benefit Trust Board: Cynthia Elaine Allen of Olmsted Falls, Ohio; Sara Huston Brenneman of Hershey, Pa.
Mission and Ministry Board, from Area 2: Sarah Elizabeth Friedrich of Columbus, Ohio; Dennis John Richard Webb of Aurora, Ill.
Mission and Ministry Board, from Area 3: Torin Eikler of Morgantown, W.Va.; Jonathan Andrew Prater of Harrisonburg, Va.
Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee: Nancy L. Bowman of Fishersville, Va.; Deborah Oskin of Columbus, Ohio.
In other news from the Conference office
— Annual Conference registration for nondelegates and hotel reservations is now open online for the 2013 Conference in Charlotte. Go to www.brethren.org/ac for registration links and more about the Conference schedule and events, as well as a detailed Conference Information Packet.
— Conference leaders are highlighting special Sunday events on June 30 as an opportunity for all Church of the Brethren members to focus on spiritual renewal. The day will begin with worship, led by popular author and speaker Philip Yancey, who will preach on grace. Equipping workshops will be offered in the morning and the afternoon on a wide variety of topics, for all Conference-goers. After a lunch break, Mark Yaconelli will preach on prayer for an afternoon worship service. The evening will be spent in a Concert of Prayer including personal and corporate guided prayer leading participants through “seven Rs”: Rejoice, Repent, Resist, Restore, Release, Receive, and Recommit. A full schedule for the Day of Spiritual Renewal is at www.brethren.org/ac/documents/2013-day-of-spiritual-renewal.pdf .
— On the Conference office’s “Things to Do in Charlotte” list are tours of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, directly across the street from the conference center in Charlotte, and bus trips that will be offered to the Billy Graham Library. Conference-goers interested in the first bus trips to the Billy Graham Library should plan to arrive in Charlotte early as these will be offered before the Conference itself starts, on Saturday afternoon June 29. Another bus trip to the library will be offered on Monday morning, July 1, for nondelegates who do not have to attend business sessions. Conference director Chris Douglas recommends both experiences, noting the interactive exhibits at the NASCAR Hall of Fame that she says are interesting and fun even for those not familiar with NASCAR racing; and the beauty of the setting of the Billy Graham Library as well as its interactive video displays about the life and ministry of the well known evangelist and his family. The Billy Graham Library grounds include a museum-like library building built like a dairy barn–highlighting the family background in dairy farming–as well as beautifully landscaped grounds and the Graham family home that has been moved to the site and furnished in period style. For more information about these opportunities go to www.brethren.org/ac .
— This year a $150 travel scholarship is offered to congregations west of the Mississippi River to help them send delegates to the Conference. The scholarship program was put in place by a decision of last year’s Conference, and will be carried out through refund payments to congregations after their delegates attend the 2013 Conference in Charlotte. For more information about this scholarship opportunity, contact the Conference office at firstname.lastname@example.org .
— A change in dates has been announced for the 2016 Annual Conference to take place in Greensboro, N.C. The dates are now June 29-July 3, replacing the previously announced dates of July 2-6. This change will start the new Wednesday through Sunday schedule for upcoming Conferences that was approved last year.
— The Conference officers are asking districts, congregations, and church members who are using the denominational Vision Statement to send in a paragraph of information about how the statement is being used in your ministry or setting. The Conference officers want to collect stories and information about how the Vision Statement has been of use across the Church of the Brethren. Send information to email@example.com .
Go to www.brethren.org/ac for more information. A full preview of Annual Conference 2013 and related events will appear in a future issue of Newsline.