Changes to the Church of the Brethren bylaws are approved, among other business

Amendments to the bylaws of the Church of the Brethren and two business items originally brought by Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) in 2017–and then deferred for a year–were approved by the 2018 Annual Conference. Also approved were business items related to the Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee. A proposal for a denominational leadership gathering was turned down.

Conference adopts new vision for a global Church of the Brethren

Annual Conference on July 7 adopted the paper, “Vision for a Global Church of the Brethren.” This document was brought by the Mission and Ministry Board at the initiative of staff of Global Mission and Service, and has been in process for some time. Those involved in its development include the Mission Advisory Committee and church leaders from several countries.

Denominational ministries experience positive financial results in 2017

Positive financial results for the Church of Brethren denominational ministries in 2017 include increased nets assets, positive investment returns, increased giving to core ministries, and increased giving to some restricted funds. Concerns include the continued use of designated funds to supplement income and a few self-funding ministries that sustained a net expense.

Mission and Ministry Board approves grants, adopts statement on gun violence, holds conversations on race and mission at spring meetings

A large Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) allocation for long-term hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico, a statement on gun violence, Wieand Trust grants to Chicago-area projects, and new names for some denominational ministries were on the agenda of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board. The board held spring meetings March 9-12 at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill., led by chair Connie Burk Davis and chair-elect Patrick Starkey.

Discipleship Ministries represents new name, new vision for former Congregational Life Ministries

At the spring meeting of the Mission and Ministry Board, Congregational Life Ministries staff announced a new team name and strategy. Now titled Discipleship Ministries, the team envisions a “people of God, new and renewed, that embodies and articulates their faith.” Along with a new name, staff of Discipleship Ministries also outlined new strategic emphases and a staffing plan to carry out the work.

‘Lukewarm No More’ calls for repentance and action on gun violence

The Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren adopted a statement on gun violence at its spring meetings held at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill., on March 9-12. The statement was initiated by staff of Global Mission and Service, and quotes from the Bible and previous Annual Conference statements in its call to the wider church.

Paul Mundey and Pam Reist top Annual Conference ballot for 2018

The ballot that will be presented to the 2018 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren has been released. Topping the ballot are two nominees for Annual Conference moderator-elect: Paul Mundey and Pam Reist. Other offices to be filled by election of the delegate body are positions on the Program and Arrangements Committee, Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee, Mission and Ministry Board, and the boards of Bethany Theological Seminary, Brethren Benefit Trust, and On Earth Peace.

Mission and Ministry Board adopts vision for a global Church of the Brethren

The Mission and Ministry Board adopted a “Vision for a Global Church of the Brethren,” and recommended this new mission philosophy to Annual Conference, at its meeting on Oct. 20-23 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The board also adopted a budget for 2018, approved two large allocations from the Emergency Disaster Fund, and acted on Review and Evaluation Committee recommendations that were directed to the board by Annual Conference, among other business.