Wednesday in Charlotte

Quotes of the day

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
Nigerians attending Conference pose for photos, some taken by group members on tablets and cell phones. Shown here are just a part of the total number of Nigerian Brethren who participated in the 2013 Annual Conference.

“Stir us to build new worlds in thy name.
Spirit of God, O send us thy pow’r!”

— 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.


“God is here among you. Never doubt that…. God is in our midst. God is in our midst!”

— Suely Inhauser preaching the closing sermon of the 2013 Conference. She is a leader in Igreja da Irmandade, the Church of the Brethren in Brazil, and told the story of the church’s revival there and its ministries have touched the lives of people with physical and spiritual needs. God “revives us so that our lives can be fruitful,” she said, encouraging the congregation to remember God’s presence with them.


Photo by Glenn Riegel
Nancy Heishman, who will serve as moderator of the 2014 Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio

“Let’s do a triple thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

— Moderator Bob Krouse responding to the many expressions of gratitude during the open conversation this morning in the business session. Many people came to the microphones to share feedback. Most spoke their gratitude for fellowship at the tables, excellent music, the Day of Spiritual Renewal, a helpful convention center staff, the Conference volunteers, and more. Some shared concerns including need for more time for discussion of business items, a call for increased use of Internet based technology, and too many choices of equipping workshops and insight sessions. The last person to come to the microphones, however, asked the Conference to remember that not everyone–she mentioned in particular the lgbt community–were included in what an earlier comment had characterized as “the healing of this Conference.”


“You’re the leader that our God has raised up…. You’ll begin to discover the weight of people’s prayers and it’s a good weight.”

— 2013 moderator Bob Krouse to 2014 moderator Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, as he passed the moderator’s gavel to her.


“The times in which we live call for boldness and for fearless living that is faithful to Jesus Christ.”

— 2014 moderator Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, in her remarks to the Conference after she received the consecration of laying on of hands. She called the church to join her in living out courageous discipleship, with the book of Philippians as a biblical focus for the next year. “While we’re at it, why don’t we just memorize the whole book?” she asked, issuing a challenge for church members to memorize chapters of the book and come to the next Annual Conference prepared to recite chapters of Philippians from memory.


Photo by Glenn Riegel
Suely Inhauser preaches for the Wednesday morning worship service, the closing sermon of the 2013 Annual Conference.

“Sew in our midst, our Artisan God.
Piece from our lives a colorful quilt!
Knit from our flaws and scraps, bright and odd,
One testimony–do as thou wilt!”

— A new verse to “Move in Our Midst” written by Frank Ramirez after his first attempt to help out at the Annual Conference quilting bee. In an article in the Tuesday Conference Journal, he commented, “Eventually I managed to acquit myself without doing too much damage to the quilt. Perhaps I have a greater appreciation for the wonderful quilt of humankind quilted together by the Spirit despite our best efforts to unravel it all.”


Family of composer Perry Huffaker (1902-1982) attend ‘Move in Our Midst’ Conference

Several members of Perry Lee Huffaker’s family have been present at Annual Conference in Charlotte this year. Annette Beam, granddaughter, Michael Huffaker, grandson, and Sue Huffaker, daughter in law, all remember Perry with affection and pride. Perry Huffaker, composer of the tune to “Move in Our Midst,” contributed much more to the life of the church. He inspired Ken Morse to write additional verses and also served on the 1951 Hymnal Committee. — Eddie Edmonds, editor of the Conference Journal


Photo by Regina Holmes
AACB presents the moderator’s quilt to Bob Krouse. Each year the Annual Conference moderator is honored by the gift of a quilt from the Association for the Arts in the Church of the Brethren. This year’s moderator quilt centers on the Alexander Mack logo and the theme statement “Move in Our Midst.”


Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
Conference-goers seize a moment to read the Bible together.

Order the Conference Wrap-Up DVD

The 2013 Annual Conference Wrap-Up DVD and the Sermons DVD capture the highlights from Charlotte. Produced by Brethren videographer David Sollenberger and his crew–now affectionately known as the “AC News Team” until the National Older Adult Conference and they return to the name “NOAC News Team.” Order the Wrap-Up DVD for $29.95 plus shipping and handling. Order the Annual Conference Sermons on DVD for $24.95 plus shipping and handling. Call Brethren Press at 800-441-3712 or go to


Conference by the numbers

Final registration numbers: 721 delegates and 1,760 nondelegates for a total of 2,481 people. Of that number, 316 were age 21 and under, meaning some 13 percent of Conference-goers this year were children, youth, or young adults. Most of the children and youth activities groups (early childhood, K-2nd, 3rd-5th, junior high, and senior high) had close to 50 participants.

Offering: $5,855.80 was received in the Wednesday morning 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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