At the Oct. 2014 meeting of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board, discussions began around the General Secretary’s approaching contract end date of July 1, 2016. After a several-months-long process of discovery, discussion, and deliberation, general secretary Stanley J. Noffsinger and the Mission and Ministry Board members mutually decided at a meeting held March 13-16 at Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, that Noffsinger’s service will not extend beyond the end of his current contract.
The board is thankful for the gifts that Noffsinger has brought to this position and his tireless leadership in the church, and recognizes that he has modeled servant leadership as he has led the church through the past 12 years. He has completed well the call, tasks, and challenges set before him over these years.
Through the board’s discussions and deliberation it was clear that Noffsinger had been called “for such a time as this” 12 years ago. He has taken the Brethren message of God’s shalom and Christ’s peace around the world on the denomination’s behalf, while leading it through restructuring and shoring up financial resources.
“The board recognizes and expresses deep appreciation for Stan’s gifts, passion, and sacrificial service,” said chair Becky Ball-Miller. “We sense that the next season of the church’s life will be best served by new leadership.”
Noffsinger reflected that “in the matters of the church, when we call for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, decisions are not made with winners and losers in mind. We may not always know where the roads lead, but each of us trusts that we will be led where the Holy Spirit desires.”
The board has called two groups to plan next steps. A Transition Team will plan for and recommend to the board the next steps of the transition. A Celebration Team will plan and facilitate the celebration of Noffsinger’s faithful service at the 2015 Annual Conference in Tampa, Fla.
Members of the Transition Team are: Don Fitzkee (convener), Connie Burk Davis, Keith Goering, Donita Keister, Jonathan Prater, and Annual Conference moderator David Steele.
Members of the Celebration Team are: Pam Reist (convener), Becky Ball-Miller, Brian Messler, Tim Peter, Gilbert Romero, Trent Smith, and Dennis Webb.
For more information about the work of the General Secretary, go to www.brethren.org/gensec .