Delegates to Annual Conference have approved a motion to refer the concerns of “Query: Same Sex Weddings” to the Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren, in consultation with the Council of District Executives (CODE). The query was referred with a vote that was close to unanimous.
The motion to refer was made by Bob Kettering of Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren after Chris Bowman of Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren withdrew his motion to return the query to the originating district. Bowman and Kettering deferred to each other and shared time at the microphone to explain that they had consulted together about their shared concern that the denomination find a way forward.
Concerns raised by the query will not “go away” without being addressed properly and with the guidance of trusted church leaders, Bowman said. Discussion about this query over the past couple of days has revealed much misinformation in the church about related matters, he noted, and there is a need that “these issues are dealt with carefully.”
Kettering stated his concern that the Church of the Brethren is “in a quagmire” regarding the question raised by the query, and that the motion to refer will help the church find the guidance that is desired.
The Leadership Team of the denomination is made up of the Annual Conference officers–moderator, moderator-elect, and secretary–and the general secretary of the Church of the Brethren.
The motion to refer asks the Leadership Team and CODE “to bring clarity and guidance concerning the authority of Annual Conference and districts regarding the accountability of ministers, congregations, and districts, bringing recommendations to the 2017 Annual Conference.”
The 2016 Annual Conference News Team includes: writers Frank Ramirez, Frances Townsend, Karen Garrett, Tyler Roebuck, Monica McFadden; photographers Glenn Riegel, Regina Holmes, Keith Hollenberg, Donna Parcell, Laura Brown; Conference Journal editor Eddie Edmonds; web manager Jan Fischer Bachman; web staff Russ Otto; editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford.