Tuesday in Charlotte

Photo by Glenn Riegel
The officers of Annual Conference 2013, from left moderator-elect Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, moderator Bob Krouse, and secretary James Beckwith.

Quotes of the day

Photo by Regina Holmes
Conferencegoers bring an offering of school supplies as a witness to the host city of Charlotte, N.C.

“Move in our midst, thou Spirit of God, go with us down from thy holy hill.”

— Stanza one 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 Regina Holmes
A blessing for youth included prayer and laying on of hands for the youth group at this Conference and the coordinators of the National Youth Conference (NYC) 2014.

“I think that you may never know the impact and the reach of your generosity with these tangible items.”

— Jill Dineen, executive director of Classroom Central in Charlotte, thanking the Conference for the mound of donated school supplies that will provide teachers of underprivileged children with supplies for their classrooms.


“How do you decide in 30 minutes what to do with a 2,000 year old, 3,000 year old book?”

— Moderator Bob Krouse commenting on the discussion about the query on biblical authority.


“They are not the future of the church, they are the church.”

— Moderator Bob Krouse during the blessing of the coordinators of National Youth Conference (NYC) 2014, and the youth group who are here at this Annual Conference.


Delegates approve cost of living increase for pastors

The delegate body approved a 1.4 percent cost of living increase to the minimum cash salary table for pastors for 2014. The cost of living increase is brought annually to the delegate body by the Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee. Asked by a delegate how many pastors are compensated on scale by their congregations, Mary Jo Flory-Steury as executive director of the Ministry Office said that it is about half of the pastors in the denomination, estimating from the reporting that congregations are supposed to do each year.

Ministers’ Association announces speakers for 2014 and 2015

The Ministers’ Association has announced the speakers for the pre-Conference continuing education events in 2014 and 2015. The 2014 speaker in Columbus, Ohio, July 1-2, is Thomas Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga. The author of 20 books, the most recent titled “What Shall We Say? Evil, Suffering, and the Crisis of Faith,” Long is a frequnt preacher and conference leader as well as contributor to the “Christian Century” and the “Journal of Preachers.” At the Conference in Tamp, Val, in 2015, the leader will be Joyce Rupp, co-director of the Institute of Compassionate Presence, frequent retreat leader, and conference speaker. She is the author of many books about prayer and the spiritual life, including “God’s Enduring Presence,” “Cosmic Dancer,” and “Circle of Life.”


Photo by Alysson Wittmeyer
A junior high participant at Annual Conference 2013.


Conference hotel block is filled

Photo by courtesy of Randy Miller
Separated at birth? Messenger editors past and present, Walt Wiltschek at right and Randy Miller at left. Miller said the wardrobe choice was a coincidence.

Conference-goers did end up filling all the hotel rooms in the Conference hotel block, reported Chris Douglas during announcements Tuesday evening. She said that the Conference incurred no financial penalties because the hotel block rooms were filled this year. Earlier in the Conference, there had been several references to the need to reverse rooms in the Conference block, because the arrangements with the convention site require that the cost of unfilled rooms must be paid out of the Conference budget.

Photo by Debbie Surin

Conference by the numbers

Blood Drive: at least 134 productive units of blood were collected over the two days of the drive, Monday and Tuesday. The final number is expected to rise as the American Red Cross continues to confirm the number of productive units collected out of all of the people who presented to donate. The drive is sponsored by Brethren Disaster Ministries.

Quilt Auction: $6,300 was raised for hunger relief by the Association for the Arts in the Church of the Brethren (AACB) Quilt Auction.

Offering: $9,452.29 was received in the worship offering


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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