Executive Committee of Denominational Board Holds January Meeting

The Executive Committee of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board met in Cocoa Beach, Fla., on Jan. 25-26, following meetings of other denominational leaders. Participating in the meeting were elected members Ben Barlow, chair; Becky Ball-Miller, chair-elect; Andy Hamilton; and Brian Messler; and ex officio members Bob Krouse, Annual Conference moderator; Don Fitzkee; Pam Reist; and Stan Noffsinger, general secretary.

A central focus of the meeting was formulating an initial response to the Annual Conference query from Southern Pennsylvania District on “More Equitable Representation on the Mission and Ministry Board.” The Executive Committee is recommending to the full board consideration of continuing to choose board members based on five geographical areas, but allocating more representatives to more populous areas and fewer to less populous areas. The proposal may be ready for action at the 2013 Annual Conference.

The Executive Committee agreed to recommend to the full board six Brethren to serve on the Ecumenism in the 21st Century Study Committee called for by the 2012 Annual Conference. They 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. The 2012 Conference approved disbanding the Committee on Interchurch Relations (CIR) and authorized the appointment of a study committee to “write a ‘Vision of Ecumenism for the 21st Century’ that builds on our history and calls us into the future of the church of Christ as part of a community of communions.”

In addition to these two items, the Executive Committee:

— Heard a report from the general secretary and board officers on the Interagency Forum held earlier in the week.

— Learned of discussions between Mission and Ministry Board officers and officers of the Brethren Benefit Trust Board to clarify issues arising from sharing a common building in Elgin, Ill.

— Prepared for a Feb. 4 meeting between the Executive Committees of the Mission and Ministry Board and the Brethren Mennonite Council to clarify misunderstandings that arose from a Brethren Volunteer Service project that was approved and then withdrawn.

— Addressed confidential human resources and risk management issues.

— Provided input for the agenda for the March 8-11 Mission and Ministry Board meeting.

— Don Fitzkee, a member of the Executive Committee of the Mission and Ministry Board, provided this report.

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