By Walt Wiltschek
The Council of District Executives (CODE) held its annual winter meetings Jan. 20-24 near Melbourne, Fla., with some members also attending the Church of the Brethren Inter-Agency Forum (IAF) meeting that followed. Twenty-two of the denomination’s 24 districts were represented, along with Office of Ministry director Nancy Sollenberger Heishman.
Richard Wehrle, program manager for the Office of Ministry’s Thriving in Ministry initiatives, shared about new directions for the Part-Time Pastor, Full-Time Church program, and circuit rider John Fillmore from Idaho led a continuing education session around the book Quietly Courageous by Gil Rendle.
Shannon Kiser, director of US ministries for church resourcing organization Fresh Expressions, also joined the meetings for a session facilitated by the denomination’s Discipleship and Leadership Formation office. Significant conversation was given to the changing realities of the church and creative possibilities for moving forward.
Other business included worship and devotional times focused on Colossians 3:12-17, receiving reports, approving appointments to committees, calling members for a new Matthew 18 Team to provide conflict resolution when needed, a review of the upcoming ministerial ethics training process, conversations with agency staff and Annual Conference leadership, a meal and worship with IAF members, and catching up on news from the various districts.
CODE will hold a virtual meeting in the spring and will next meet in person prior to Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, Mich., this summer.
— Walt Wiltschek is executive minister for the Church of the Brethren’s Illinois and Wisconsin District.
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