Annual Conference Makes Changes to ‘Special Response’ Process for Strongly Controversial Issues

Photo by Regina Holmes
Delegates engage in community building at the round tables that are now standard seating for the Annual Conference business sessions.

The 2014 Annual Conference approved revisions and amendments to the “Special Response” process for strongly controversial issues, during business sessions at the Church of the Brethren annual meeting held in Columbus, Ohio, on July 2-6.

The revision to the document was proposed by the Standing Committee of district delegates. The revision adapts the process in a number of ways including requiring training for facilitators of district hearings, limiting time for open floor dialogue, and no suspension of Roberts Rules of Order, among others.

One amendment made from the floor and passed by the delegate body added scientific materials to the list of study materials provided to the denomination in the event the process is used again. The “Special Response” process was used a few years ago when the Church of the Brethren engaged in a discussion of human sexuality.

For full coverage of the 2014 Annual Conference go to . Go to or call Brethren Press at 800-441-3712 to purchase the Wrap-Up DVD for $29.95 and the Sermons DVD for $24.95 (shipping and handling will be added to these prices). An Annual Conference Wrap Up in pdf format is free to download and print from . This two-page piece highlights the main business decisions and statistics in a easy-to-digest form designed for delegate reports to congregations and districts and for inclusion in church bulletins and newsletters.

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