Today in Grand Rapids – Sunday, July 2, 2017

Church of the Brethren Newsline
July 2, 2017

Samuel Sarpiya is consecrated moderator of Annual Conference; Donita Keister is consecrated moderator-elect; and James Beckwith is consecrated for a second term as Conference secretary. Sarpiya will preside over the 2018 Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Keister will preside over the 2019 Conference in San Diego, Calif. Photo by Glenn Riegel.

“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing’” (Genesis 12:1-2).

Theme for worship:
Risk Hope: Step out and be a blessing

Quotes of the day

“Living Parables”

— The theme for Annual Conference 2018, announced this morning by Samuel Sarpiya. The scripture theme is Matthew 9:35-38. Sarpiya served this year as moderator-elect, and will serve as moderator for the next year. He will preside over the Annual Conference to be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 4-8, 2018.

“Would you risk the comfort and security of the life you know…to just blindly follow God?”

— Matthew Fike, preaching for the closing worship service of the Annual Conference in Grand Rapids. His sermon title: “Blessed to Be a Blessing.”

By the numbers

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

6,822: “views” of the webcasts from this Conference, as of Saturday at 5 p.m. There were 2,454 views of worship webcasts, and 4,368 views of business sessions.

Renaissance 2017-2020

The offering received in the closing worship on Sunday morning is for a new initiative of the Church of the Brethren Congregational Life Ministries called “Renaissance 2017-2020.” The two-point foci of this new effort is growing vital churches and equipping church planters.

For more onsite coverage of Annual Conference go to .

The news coverage of Annual Conference 2017 is made possible through the work of the volunteer news team: Frank Ramirez, Conference Journal editor; photographers Glenn Riegel, Regina Holmes, Keith Hollenberg, Donna Parcell, Laura Brown, Allie Dulabaum; writers Frances Townsend, Karen Garrett; with web staff Jan Fischer Bachman and Russ Otto, and Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services. Wendy McFadden, publisher. Contact

Go to to subscribe to the Church of the Brethren Newsline free e-mail news service and receive church news every week.

[gt-link lang="en" label="English" widget_look="flags_name"]