Saturday in Charlotte

Photo by Glenn Riegel
Banners fly outside the Charlotte Convention Center

Quotes of the day

“Kindle our hearts to burn with thy flame.
Raise up thy banners high in this hour.”

— Stanza four of the beloved Brethren hymn, “Move in Our Midst.” The lyrics written by Kenneth I. Morse are set to the tune, “Pine Glen,” composed by Perry L. Huffaker. The hymn was chosen as the theme for the Annual Conference in 2013, the 100th anniversary of Morse’s birth. In addition to being a poet and hymnwriter, Morse was a longtime editor and associate editor of the Church of the Brethren Messenger magazine.

Photo by Glenn Riegel
Moderator Bob Krouse preaches for the opening worship service.

“We are called to look up so we can reach out, and we can look up and reach out if we don’t forget to kneel down. This is an exercise in humility.”

— Annual Conference moderator Bob Krouse in the opening sermon of the 2013 Conference, speaking about the “exercises” that Christian are called to do to build up the spiritual body: look up, reach out, kneel down.


“When our religion is comfort, not a call, security not discipleship, then we too must change. True faith is not slumber, it is waking up. Because the gospel is an alarm…. It is our mission to sound the alarm, the alarm of hope, the alarm of opportunity.”

— Todd Eichelberger giving the opening devotions at the Mission and Ministry Board meeting. He is one of several board members who completed their terms with today’s board meeting.

Photo by Regina Holmes
Suely Inhauser and Debbie Eisenbise chat at clergywomen’s breakfast.

“We eat together. We pray together. We cry together. We laugh together. And we study the Bible together. We change the expectation of what is the church.”

— Suely Zanetti Inhauser is an ordained minister, pastor, family therapist, and co-national director of Igreja da Irmandade (the Church of the Brethren in Brazil), speaking to the Mission and Ministry Board about the nature of the church in Brazil.

Pre-Conference events

Today the Standing Committee of district delegates ended four days of pre-Conference meetings. The Mission and Ministry Board held its summer meeting. The Ministers’ Association continuing education event concluded. The Council of District Executives (CODE) also finished their pre-Conference meetings. Morning and afternoon Deacon Training Workshops were offered by the denominational Deacon Ministry. There were bus trip to the Billy Graham Library, a training for table facilitators for the business session table groups, the first choir rehearsal for the Conference Choir. The Open Table Cooperative held its first Conference event, a free reception open to anyone who was interested.

The 2013 Annual Conference begins in Charlotte, N.C.

The evening worship service officially opened the 2013 Annual Conference. Moderator Bob Krouse, who pastors Little Swatara Church of the Brethren in Bethel, Pa., gave the sermon on the theme, “Move in Our Midst.” During the worship service, two pieces of business usually part of the first business session were accomplished: welcome of international guests from Brazil, Nigeria, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Spain; and introduction of the ballot. A special concert by the La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren Chancel Choir followed worship, along with a hearing on the Revision to Ministerial Leadership Policy and a hearing on the Guidelines for Implementation of the Congregational Ethics Paper. The junior highs, senior highs, young adults and single adults had evening activities. Others volunteered to help put together the delegate packet, which will be on the tables for the delegate body when business opens on Monday morning.

Photo by Brethren Press and Messenger
Kindling Our Hearts: The Prophetic Voice of Kenneth Morse, a new e-book from Brethren Press offers writings by and about Ken Morse, compiled by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford.

Brethren Press unveils new books for Conference

Special events in the Conference Exhibit Hall included the unveiling of the New Inglenook Cookbook by Brethren Press–which just came off the press and bindery a few days ago. Also new from Brethren Press is a collection of writings by Kenneth I. Morse in e-book format, following up on the Conference choice of the late Messenger editor and hymnwriter’s “Move in Our Midst” for a theme. “Kindling Our Hearts: The Prophetic Voice of Ken Morse,” is edited by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford and includes writings by and about Morse such as Messenger articles, editorials, essays, poetry, and photos. The e-book download is for electronic devices and intended for personal use. Purchase one download per user for $3.99 at .

Conference by the numbers

As of 5:30 p.m., 726 delegates and 1,636 nondelegates were registered for the 2013 Conference, totaling 2,362 people. The evening offering received $7,435.55 in donations toward the work of the church.

The News Team for the 2013 Annual Conference includes volunteer photographers Glenn Riegel, Regina Holmes, Debbie Surin, and Alysson Wittmeyer; volunteer writers Frances Townsend, Frank Ramirez, and Karen Garrett; Eddie Edmonds volunteer for the Conference Journal; Brethren Press publisher Wendy McFadden; Donor Communications staff Mandy Garcia; website staff Amy Heckert and Don Knieriem; and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services.


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