Here is a view from a participant in one of the online “tables” or small break-out groups that participated in the process of affirming the compelling vision statement.
Towards the end of his presentation on “Doing Church in Uncharted Territory,” during the Annual Conference business session, Tod Bolsinger challenged everyone attending to tell a story from their church’s history. The story could be about a hero, about “a cherished moment that is retold over and over again. One that says, ‘This is what we are really all about.’ One that says, ‘This was the moment when I was most proud of us.’ One that says, ‘This was when I knew I found my church home.’”
The delegate body of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference today voted to elect new leadership. The delegates voted on two ballots, one to fill open positions carried over from 2020–when the Conference was canceled because of the pandemic, and one to fill positions open in 2021.
Among other business, the board spent a significant amount of time continuing its work to align denominational ministries with its new Strategic Plan. Other top agenda items included a 2022 budget parameter for Core Ministries, recommendations from a team “re-imagining” Brethren Press, and the calling of a new Executive Committee.
“Don’t miss the original composition ‘All Things New!’” says Conference director Chris Douglas, inviting Church of the Brethren members to log in early to the Sunday morning worship service of the 2021 Annual Conference on July 4. “Worship will actually begin 10 minutes before the hour (9:50 a.m. Eastern time) with gathering music featuring an original composition by Greg Bachman of the York (Pa.) First congregation.”
The Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board will hold its pre-Annual Conference meeting on Saturday and Sunday, June 26-27. The meeting will be a hybrid of in-person and Zoom options for attendance, with most of the board members gathering at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill.
A virtual recognition of new church fellowships and projects in the Church of the Brethren is planned as a pre-Annual Conference event on Sunday, June 27, at 6-7 p.m. (Eastern time). The event is open to the denomination, and is in place of the recognition breakfast usually held at in-person Annual Conferences.
Delegates and nondelegates who have registered for the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, which will be online June 30 through July 4, this week have received an email with a personalized log-in “button.” Once Conference events begin, registrants simply click on the button with the words “Go to Annual Conference” to access the event webpage.
The Annual Conference organizers are offering training sessions about how to participate in this year’s virtual Conference. The 2021 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference will take place online from June 30 to July 4. The training events also will be online, offered via Zoom at seven different times over the next couple of weeks.
All Church of the Brethren members are encouraged to register and participate in the online Annual Conference. Dates are June 30-July 4. Registration and detailed information about the Conference schedule and events are at www.brethren.org/ac2021.