The Annual Conference office is co-sponsoring two online workshops offered by Womaen’s Caucus on the theme “Equipping for Leadership.” All are invited to join! The first webinar titled “Leadership in the Church of the Brethren” will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 24, at 8 p.m. (Eastern time) via Zoom. The Zoom link will be sent out in August.
In this issue: Annual Conference reporting resources for use by delegates and churches, personnel notes and job openings, new dates for the fall orientation of Brethren Volunteer Service, extended deadline to apply for a Healing Racism Mini-grant, and more.
Approximately 130 people virtually attended the Church of the Brethren Ministers’ Association Pre-Annual Conference Event on June 29-30. Michael Gorman, a biblical scholar who was a featured speaker at the 2021 Annual Conference, spoke on 1 Corinthians, focusing on the church as Paul describes it.
At the close of this morning’s Annual Conference worship service, new leadership was consecrated with prayer and the laying on of hands. David Sollenberger (kneeling at left) was consecrated to serve as moderator of the 2022 Conference, and Tim McElwee (kneeling at right) was consecrated as moderator-elect.
The Church of the Brethren Annual Conference affirmed board-elected and constituency-elected directors and trustees for the denomination’s Mission and Ministry Board and the Conference agencies Bethany Theological Seminary, On Earth Peace, and Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT). Also affirmed were district executive representatives to the denomination’s Leadership Team and the Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee.
“We are in the third year of a five-year review,” said Cage, chair of the group. “We appreciate the work of our pastors. Seventy-seven percent of our pastors are serving less than fulltime. We needed to reimagine the compensation and working arrangements between pastors and congregations.”
The Outdoor Ministries Association (OMA) of the Church of the Brethren hosted a networking session during Annual Conference on July 2. Attendees were updated on the work of OMA’s board and member camps. Awards were presented to camp staff and volunteers for many years of faithful service.
Life, death, awe in the face of creation, alarm at the sins of humanity, anger, despair, lament, complaint, faith, hope, and love standing side by side–these are not only the qualities of the Psalms, but they are also found in the profound poetry of 86-year-old novelist, environmentalist, farmer, and poet Wendell Berry. Last fall, Joelle Hathaway, the new assistant professor of Theological Studies at Bethany Theological Seminary, taught a course about Berry’s Sabbath poetry, which plumbs the heights and depths of human experience.
“God Talk” can result in many different outcomes: conflict, terror, transformation, human flourishing, or human cruelty. So, he wondered, “Can theopoetics lead to more artful discourse? Can our hearts grow roomier and our lives become more radiant?”
The Standing Committee of district delegates to the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference met June 27-30, in advance of the Conference. The meeting was held online with delegates logging in from the denomination’s 24 districts across the US and Puerto Rico. Annual Conference moderator Paul Mundey presided, assisted by moderator-elect David Sollenberger and secretary James Beckwith.