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Annual Conference ballot for 2022 is announced

The Annual Conference office has announced the ballot to be presented at this summer’s Conference on July 10-14 in Omaha, Neb. Topping the ballot are two candidates for Annual Conference moderator-elect–Marla Bieber Abe and Madalyn Metzger–and two candidates for Annual Conference secretary–Connie R. Burkholder and David K. Shumate. Candidates for numerous additional offices also have been announced.

Annual Conference moderator-elect:

Marla Bieber Abe

Marla Bieber Abe of Lynchburg (Va.) Church of the Brethren in Virlina District, is a retired pastor. She has pastored congregations in five districts including Southern Plains, Northern Indiana, Northern Ohio, Southern Pennsylvania, and Virlina. Her leadership on the denominational level has included service on the Annual Conference Program and Arrangements Committee and as a trustee for Bethany Theological Seminary. At numerous Annual Conferences she has been one of the messengers who assist the leadership, and has led Bible studies and insight sessions. At the district level, she has been a district moderator and moderator-elect and has served on district boards and Program and Arrangements Committees for district conferences. She has been a teacher and board member for the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center that relates to five districts in Pennsylvania and the northeast. Additional leadership positions in the wider church have included service on the New Church Development Committee and the Camp Eder Board and as vice-chair for Brethren World Missions. She has taught seminars on Brethren beliefs in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Spain, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda, and maintains contact with the Churches of the Brethren in the Great Lakes region of Africa and in Nigeria.

Madalyn Metzger of Goshen City (Ind.) Church of the Brethren in Northern Indiana District, is vice president of marketing for Everence Financial. At the denominational level in the Church of the Brethren, she has served on the Intercultural Ministries advisory committee, has chaired the board of On Earth Peace, and has been an insight session presenter and delegate at Annual Conference. On the district level, she has been a presenter at district conferences and has done pulpit supply. In her congregation, she has been social media minister and media spokesperson and served terms as chair of the board, chair of the outreach committee, co-leader of the constitution and bylaws committee, and on the goals development committee. Additional leadership positions have included service as a trustee for Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind., work as adjunct faculty for Eastern Mennonite University and for a Collaborative MBA Program, and participation on the worship planning committee and as a worship leader for the Mennonite Church USA convention. She has provided executive leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy development, implementation, training, and dialogues for a number of church-related institutions.

Madalyn Metzger

Annual Conference secretary:

Connie R. Burkholder

Connie R. Burkholder of Monitor Community Church of the Brethren in McPherson, Kan., in Western Plains District, is a “semi-retired” pastor and former district executive. She has served at the denominational level as secretary for the Council of District Executives, as Church of the Brethren representative to the National Council of Churches, as a writer for Brethren Press publications including the Covenant Bible Study series as well as Guide for Biblical Studies and Living Word bulletin covers, on the planning committee for the 2020 Clergy Women’s Retreat, and as pianist for Annual Conference. She has been part of district boards and commissions, has presented for continuing education events, has been a workshop and retreat leader, has led worship for district conferences, has been part of Ministerial Alliance groups, and did worship planning for The Gathering in Western Plains District. Her intercultural work has included work with Central American refugees in the Sanctuary Movement in years past, and more recently has played piano for worship experiences in Spanish for a diverse Hispanic community.

David K. Shumate of Daleville (Va.) Church of the Brethren in Virlina District, is district executive minister in Virlina. His leadership in the Church of the Brethren has included a term as moderator of Annual Conference and service on numerous committees on the denominational level including the Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee, Annual Conference study committees including the Review and Evaluation Committee, the Ministry Advisory Council, the New Church Development advisory committee, and the Council of District Executives where he served terms as chair and treasurer. On the district and regional level, he has been president and treasurer of the Virginia Council of Churches, a district board vice chair and secretary, and served on a commission on ministry. He has served as a pastor in the Church of the Brethren. His intercultural work has included work with Igreja da Irmandade-Brasil (the Church of the Brethren in Brazil) and he has assisted in planting three Hispanic congregations in Virlina District.

David K. Shumate

Additional nominations

Annual Conference Program and Arrangements Committee:

Jacob Crouse of the Washington City Church, Mid-Atlantic District

Rachel Bucher Swank of the Mt. Wilson Church, Atlantic Northeast District

Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee:

Angela Finet of the Mountville Church, Atlantic Northeast District

Diane Mason of the Fairview Church, Northern Plains District

Mission and Ministry BoardArea 1:

Joel Gibbel of York First Church, Southern Pennsylvania District

Regina Holmes of Midland Church, Mid-Atlantic District

Mission and Ministry BoardArea 2:

Linda Fry of the Mansfield Church, Northern Ohio District

Rosanna Eller McFadden of the Creekside Church, Northern Indiana District

Bethany Theological Seminary Board of Trustees – representing the Brethren colleges:

Katharine Gray Brown of the Manchester Church, South/Central Indiana District

Jonathan Paul Frye of the Monitor Church, Western Plains District

Bethany Theological Seminary Board of Trustees – representing clergy:

Susan Stern Boyer of the La Verne Church, Pacific Southwest District

Laura Stone of the Manchester Church, South/Central Indiana District

Brethren Benefit Trust Board:

Kevin R. Boyer of the Plymouth Church, Northern Indiana District

Carl Eubank of the Happy Corner Church, Southern Ohio and Kentucky District

On Earth Peace Board:

Matt Boyer of the La Verne Church, Pacific Southwest District

Doug Richard of the Buffalo Valley Church, Southern Pennsylvania District

— Complete biographical information is available at www.brethren.org/ac2022/business/ballot.

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