A study committee on “The Church of the Brethren and Ecumenism in the 21st Century” has been named. Committee members were named by the denomination’s Leadership Team and Executive Committee of the Mission and Ministry Board, and approved by the full board when it met by telephone conference call in late January.
Last year’s Annual Conference called for the creation of the study committee, tasking the Leadership Team and Mission and Ministry Board to appoint its members. The study committee is to prepare a statement for Annual Conference giving vision and direction to the Church of the Brethren’s participation in the worldwide community of Christian communions.
One impetus for the study is the significant change in the ecumenical landscape in the 21st century. Among the new realities are new ways of being church, shifting relationships between faith groups, the rise of a major new ecumenical organization in Christian Churches Together, and reorganizations and new ways of working at longstanding ecumenical groups including the National Council of Churches, Church World Service, and the World Council of Churches.
The six members of the study committee are Tim Speicher of Atlantic Northeast District, David Shumate of Virlina District, Wanda Haynes of Pacific Northwest District, Liz Bidgood Enders of Atlantic Northeast District, Jenn Hosler of Mid Atlantic District, and Larry Ulrich of Illinois and Wisconsin District. General secretary Stan Noffsinger will will serve as staff support for the committee in his role as the denomination’s ecumenical officer.