By Frances Townsend
The mandate passed by the Annual Conference delegates formally sets in motion the work of a Review and Evaluation Committee to review and evaluate the denomination’s organization, structure, and function.
The committee will carry out its study and make recommendations to the 2017 Annual Conference for improving the effectiveness of the church’s work toward its goals. It has become the practice for the Church of the Brethren to appoint such a committee in the fifth year of each decade.
The mandate for the work of the committee includes a wide ranging list of specific things to look into, such as how well church agencies collaborate and cooperate with one another, what level of interest the general membership has in denominational programs and missions, and how denomination-level programs are connecting with the goals and programs of the districts.
Five persons were elected to serve on the committee: Ben S. Barlow of Montezuma Church of the Brethren in Shenandoah District, Tim Harvey of Oak Grove Church of the Brethren in Virlina District, Leah J. Hileman of Lake View Christian Fellowship in Southern Pennsylvania District, Robert D. Kettering of Lititz Church of the Brethren in Atlantic Northeast District, David Shumate of Daleville Church of the Brethren in Virlina District.
Although its final report is due in 2017, the committee also is expected to make an interim report to the 2016 Annual Conference.
— Frances Townsend is a member of the volunteer news team for Annual Conference, and pastors Onekama (Mich.) Church of the Brethren.