The Standing Committee of district delegates has made a recommendation to refer two queries about On Earth Peace to the Review and Evaluation Committee. The recommendation begins by “recognizing that the Review and Evaluation Committee has the responsibility to consider the balance and unity of the agencies,” and will be shared with the delegate body when the two queries come to the Annual Conference business session later this week.
Standing Committee is the body of district delegates, and meets in advance of the Conference to make recommendations on business items, among other tasks. The committee is presided over by Annual Conference moderator Andy Murray, assisted by moderator-elect Carol Scheppard and secretary James Beckwith.
Response to queries about On Earth Peace
The two queries–“On Earth Peace Reportability/Accountability to Annual Conference” from West Marva District, and “Viability of On Earth Peace as an Agency in the Church of the Brethren” from Southeastern District–were both addressed by the Standing Committee response. Find links to the queries at www.brethren.org/ac/2016/business .
The recommendation to refer the queries to the Review and Evaluation Committee came after a previous motion made by the Southeastern District delegate was voted down. If it had been adopted, that motion would have recommended that “On Earth Peace shall no longer continue as an agency of the Church of the Brethren.”
Every decade a Review and Evaluation Committee is elected to review and evaluate Church of the Brethren organization, structure, and function. Its mandate includes a wide ranging list of things to look into, such as how well church agencies collaborate, what level of interest church members have in denominational program, how denominational program connects with goals and programs of districts, among others. Members are Ben S. Barlow, Shenandoah District; Tim Harvey, Virlina District; Leah J. Hileman, Atlantic Northeast District; Robert D. Kettering, Atlantic Northeast District; David Shumate, Virlina District. The group is bringing an interim report this year and will complete its work in 2017.
In other business today
Standing Committee made a response to Query: Same Sex Weddings (see www.brethren.org/news/2016/standing-committee-responds-query-same-sex-weddings.html ) and adopted a recommendation that the Conference re-open the business agenda to a query related to sexuality, because in 2011 the Annual Conference had decided to continue such discussion outside of the query process.
Also adopted was a recommendation that spouses of Standing Committee members are not eligible to be placed on the Conference ballot.
Standing Committee named Stafford Frederick of Virlina District to fill an unexpired term on the Nominating Committee.