Creation Care Study Committee is Named

The Standing Committee of district delegates to Annual Conference has concluded its work of electing a Creation Care Study Committee. Three members have been elected to the new study committee.

Study Committee to Work in Consultation with BBT on Concerns Related to Care for Creation

As a result of a query on caring for God’s creation, a study committee is to be formed. The delegates to Annual Conference voted to appoint the study committee in response to “Query: Continuing the Study of Our Christian Responsibility to Care for God’s Creation.” A vote of 57.6 percent supported the creation of the study. The vote required only a simply majority.

Kindness Is Good for Your Health, Research Shows

Research shows that kindness and generosity have positive physiological effects. Researchers sometimes call this “helper’s high.” Two studies found that older adults who did volunteer work were living longer. Another study found a significant reduction in early death for people who volunteered often. This actually had a larger effect than regular exercise. In the 1990s, a study looked at personal essays written by nuns in the 1930s. The nuns who expressed the most positive emotions lived about 10 years longer than those who were less positive.

Resolution Expresses Support for Christian Minority Communities, Among Other Conference Business

A Resolution on Christian Minority Communities brought by the Mission and Ministry Board was adopted by the Annual Conference. In other business, the Conference dealt with a number of business items deferred from the 2014 annual meeting of the Church of the Brethren including changes to bylaws of the Church of the Brethren Inc. and a polity change related to Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT).

Office of Ministry Provides Forms Meeting New IRS Standards

The roller coaster ride of receiving and responding to updates regarding implications of the Affordable Care Act for support of our pastors’ medical insurance premiums continues. Thank you for your continuing care and concern as we seek to understand the situation and care for our pastors’ well-being.

Thompson Fund Makes Grants

The Joel K. Thompson Memorial Endowment Fund, administered by Brethren Foundation, is helping to underwrite the planned visit of Dr. Alexander Gee Jr. to the National Older Adult Conference. Dr. Gee is the founder and president of The Nehemiah Urban Leadership Institute in Madison, Wis. He will speak on “In Search of Racial Righteousness” on Sept. 9, 2015.

BBT Explores Feasibility of Offering Group Medical Insurance for Church Employees

Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) is carrying out a feasibility study on the question: Has the time come for Brethren Benefit Trust to offer group medical insurance to employees of Church of the Brethren congregations, districts, and camps? The agency has posted an online survey to help with the study. Employees of Church of the Brethren congregations, districts, and camps are encouraged to take the survey at .