Leadership Team clarifies congregational withdrawal process to districts

The Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren has provided district executives with a congregational withdrawal process. This “best practices” document was developed in consultation with the Council of District Executives in keeping with current polity. It was prepared for district leaders who are working with congregations that may be considering withdrawing from the denomination.

The Leadership Team does not intend to encourage any congregation to withdraw. Indeed, it is the Leadership Team’s fervent prayer that congregations will discover God’s compelling vision to continue our ministries together. If, however, withdrawal becomes necessary, this document gives guidance for processing withdrawal in accordance with current polity.

The Leadership Team of the denomination includes the Annual Conference officers—moderator Donita Keister, moderator-elect Paul Mundey, and secretary James Beckwith—along with general secretary David Steele and district executive Cindy Sanders, who represents the Council of District Executives.

The “Congregational Withdrawal Process” document does not change Church of the Brethren polity related to property ownership. The intent of the document is to encourage intentional conversations between district leadership and congregations through a defined process, to pull together the denominational polity regarding church property, and to give guidance to ministerial and congregational leadership.

The Leadership Team urges a reconciling spirit in all congregational withdrawal conversations. The document also asks districts to be consistent with all aspects of Church of the Brethren polity as they work with congregations and ministers considering withdrawal, fostering a respectful spirit toward all parties and giving serious attention and care to those church members who choose to remain a part of the Church of the Brethren.

For more information, please contact your district executive.

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