Delegates to Annual Conference on June 29-July 3 in Charlotte, N.C., will consider several key documents for the Church of the Brethren, among nine items of business coming to the meeting. As at last year’s Conference, delegates will again be seated together at round tables.
A gift from the David J. and Mary Elizabeth Wieand Trust is helping to start a new “Sustaining Ministerial Excellence: Advanced Seminar” at the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership. In related news, Bethany Seminary announces that two new educational initiatives will be supported by a major gift from the estate of Mary Elizabeth Wertz Wieand. This gift comes through the David J. and Mary Elizabeth Wieand Trust, established by a family whose roots go back to the founding of the seminary.
Mission and Ministry Board members got a glimpse of a new congregational survey that will be part of the Vital Ministry Journey for churches and districts, named a new at-large member pending affirmation at Annual Conference, reviewed financial reports from 2012, and made a small change to the 2013 budget among other business at the spring meeting.
Mission and Ministry Board spring meeting: 1) Church of the Brethren in Spain receives recognition from denominational board. 2) Brethren board issues resolution against drone warfare. 3) Response on equitable board representation will go to Annual Conference. 4) Board sees new congregational survey tool, names at-large member, among other business. 5) BMC representatives and MMB executive committee discuss concerns.
Representatives of the Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Interests (BMC) and the executive committee of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board (MMB) met for about four hours on Monday, Feb. 4, at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The purpose of the gathering was to begin dialogue about past difficulties in working together.
A Resolution Against Drone Warfare was issued by the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board on March 11. Proposed by the denomination’s Peace Witness Ministry based in Washington, D.C., the resolution will be sent on to the 2013 Annual Conference for its consideration in early July. The resolution addresses the use of drones in warfare in the context of a reaffirmation of the Church of the Brethren’s longstanding assertion that “war is sin.”
A response to the query about equitable representation on the Mission Ministry Board, which came originally from Southern Pennsylvania District, will be on the business docket at the 2013 Conference. The board recommended changes to bylaws of the Church of the Brethren Inc., in a section governing the number and geographic balance of members of the board.
Recognizing the Church of the Brethren in Spain–and passing on to Annual Conference a recommendation for that body to recognize the fledgling Spanish church, was a key action of the Mission and Ministry Board at its March 8-11 meeting at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill.
The Executive Committee of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board met in Cocoa Beach, Fla., on Jan. 25-26, following meetings of other denominational leaders.
A budget exceeding $8.2 million has been set for the Church of the Brethren’s denominational ministries in 2013. The budget was approved by the Mission and Ministry Board in meetings Oct. 18-21 at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Also on the agenda were financial updates to date for this year, including giving to the church’s ministries and communications with donors. Ben Barlow chaired the meetings, in which decisions were made by consensus.