Annual Conference by the numbers

Church of the Brethren Newsline
July 2, 2017

Anointing on Saturday evening at the 2017 Annual Conference. Photo by Glenn Riegel.

2,329: final registration number for the 2017 Annual Conference, including 672 delegates and 1,657 non-delegates.

6,822: “views” of the Annual Conference webcasts as of 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 1, including 2,454 views of worship and 4,368 views of business sessions.

$55,280-plus: the total of the offerings received during the Annual Conference worship services, on the 5 days of the Conference.

$7,276.76 received in worship on Wednesday, to provide copies of “Shine On Story Bible” to congregations that do not use the Shine Sunday school curriculum jointly produced by Brethren Press and MennoMedia.

$13,376.74 received during worship on Thursday for the Nigeria Crisis Response, a cooperative effort of the Church of the Brethren Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries with Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).

$11,653.54 received in worship Friday, for the church’s ministries in Haiti.

$15,534.58 received in worship Saturday, given to support the Core Ministries of the Church of the Brethren denomination.

$7,441.93 received on Sunday, to go into the Core Ministries Fund to support a new initiative of Congregational Life Ministries called “Renaissance 2017-2020.” The initiative focuses on growing vital churches and equipping church planters through resources, training events, networking, and coaching. It will “enable congregations, established and new, to offer compelling ministries that reach more people, more young people and more diverse people in our communities,” said a statement from Congregational Life Ministries staff. The staff are “committed to empowering people to articulate and embody their faith in significant ways that reach out with genuine hospitality to people wherever they are, inviting and welcoming them as together we seek to renew existing congregations, start new faith communities, and inspire faithful disciples.”

Children’s activities. Photo by Keith Hollenberg.

1 percent: the increase approved for the Minimum Cash Salary Table for pastors, at the recommendation of the Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee. In addition to recommending this increase in pastors’ salaries, the committee also encouraged congregations to monitor their pastors’ health insurance premium increases, reporting that many pastors are struggling to pay higher premium costs.

190: the total number of pints of blood collected during the 2-day Conference Blood Drive, well exceeding the goal of 160 pints. On Thursday, 84 pints were collected. On Friday, 106 pints were collected.

$11,250: total proceeds of the annual Quilt Auction sponsored by the Association for the Arts in the Church of the Brethren.

Volunteers sort and box donations to the Witness to the Host City collection. Photo by Glenn Riegel.

4: the number of local ministries in Grand Rapids that received support from Conferencegoers as part of the Witness to the Host City. The four local ministries were the Refugee Education Center, Bethany Christian Services, the Well House, and Mel Trotter Ministries.

$1,140: the total donations received by cash and check for the Refugee Education Center, one of the local ministries in Grand Rapids that was a beneficiary of the Annual Conference Witness to the Host City. Backpacks and other material goods were donated as well, and there were enough donations of backpacks for every child who attends summer camp at the Refugee Education Center, as well as enough snacks to service the summer camp and the tutoring program for the rest of the year.

$1,280.08: the total donations received by cash and check to Bethany Christian Services, another of the local Grand Rapids ministries to receive support through the Witness to the Host City. One pallet “stacked up with office supplies” was donated, in addition, to help serve refugees who are resettled through Bethany Christian Services, as well as enough bed sheets and comforters to fill three pallets. “Bethany Christian Services staff members were amazed at how much their box truck was filled with donations,” reported site co-coordinator Joanna Willoughby.

17:10.4: the time of Galen Fitzkee, first male runner in a photo finish in the BBT 5K Fitness Challenge sponsored by Brethren Benefit Trust. Rieth Ritchey Moore was the first female runner with a time of 19:39.8. Bev Anspaugh was the first female walker with a time of 35:41.5. The first male walker was Stafford Frederick, with a time of 38:31.9.

1: new location for upcoming Annual Conferences, announced by the Program and Arrangements Committee. The 2021 Conference will return to Greensboro, N.C., which was the location for the 2016 Conference. The 2021 Conference will be held from June 30-July 4. This decision is in addition to previous years’ announcements of upcoming Conference locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, for the 2018 Conference to be held July 4-8; San Diego, Calif., for the 2019 Conference to be held July 3-7; and Grand Rapids, Mich., for the 2020 Conference to be held July 1-5. All of these Conferences will take place on a Wednesday-through-Sunday schedule.

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