Mission and Ministry Board Optimistic, Despite Challenges

The Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board tackled a handful of business items interspersed with reports from staff and others during its Saturday meeting prior to the start of Annual Conference. Also on the agenda were adoption of a budget parameter for 2013, recognitions of board members and staff concluding their terms of service, and numerous reports.

Board Adopts 2012 Budget, Discusses Financial Policies for Self-Funding Ministries

A 2012 budget for the denominational ministries was the top business item at the spring meeting of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board. Chair Ben Barlow led the March 9-12 meeting, at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Also on the agenda were an allocation from the Global Food Crisis Fund, the Ministerial Leadership paper, an appointment to the Brethren Historical Committee, and a number of items presented for conversation including financial policies related to self-funding ministries, the proposed denominational Vision Statement, an emerging effort of Congregational Life Ministries called “Vital Ministry Journey,” and the Ecumenical Call to Just Peace.

Reflections on Cuba, December 2011

Becky Ball-Miller, a member of the Church of the Brethren’s Mission and Ministry Board and CEO of Troyer Foods, Inc., an employee-owned company in Goshen, Ind., wrote the following reflection after she returned from an ecumenical delegation to Cuba.

Mission and Ministry Board Member Is Part of Ecumenical Visit to Cuba

A meeting of US church leaders with leaders of the Council of Churches of Cuba concluded in Havana on Dec. 2 with a joint declaration celebrating signs of greater unity between US and Cuban churches. Sixteen representatives of National Council of Churches (NCC) member communions including the Church of the Brethren were in Cuba from Nov. 28-Dec. 2 meeting with Cuban church and political leaders, including President Raúl Castro. Mission and Ministry Board member Becky Ball-Miller was the Brethren member on the delegation.

Board Gives Provisional Approval to Ministerial Leadership Paper, Makes Haiti Earthquake Grant

In addition to its decision to cease operation of the New Windsor (Md.) Conference Center (reported in Newsline on Sunday, Oct. 16), the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board in its Fall meeting appointed LeAnn Wine as treasurer, and Ed Woolf as assistant treasurer; gave provisional approval to a revision of the denomination’s Ministerial Leadership Paper; and approved a $300,000 grant from the Emergency Disaster Fund to continue disaster relief and rebuilding in Haiti following the earthquake of 2010.

Board Gives Provisional Approval to Ministerial Leadership Paper, Makes Haiti Earthquake Grant

In addition to its decision to cease operation of the New Windsor (Md.) Conference Center (reported in Newsline on Sunday, Oct. 16), the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board in its Fall meeting appointed LeAnn Wine as treasurer, and Ed Woolf as assistant treasurer; gave provisional approval to a revision of the denomination’s Ministerial Leadership Paper; and approved a $300,000 grant from the Emergency Disaster Fund to continue disaster relief and rebuilding in Haiti following the earthquake of 2010.

Newsline for Oct. 20, 2011

Articles include:
1. Board decides to cease operation of New Windsor Conference Center, gives provisional approval to Ministerial Leadership Paper, makes grant to Haiti earthquake response.
2. On Earth Peace releases statement of inclusion.
3. Religious leaders arrested in Rotunda in July have their day in court.
4. Peace Witness Ministries takes up food stamp challenge.
5. GFCF grants go to work in Honduras, Niger, Kenya, and Rwanda.
6. Tracy Stoddart Primozich to oversee admissions at seminary.
7. Workcamps are announced for 2012.
8. Brethren bits: Remembrance, personnel, jobs, anniversaries, more.

Board Makes Decision to Cease Operating New Windsor Conference Center

The Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board has determined that “operating the New Windsor Conference Center is not in alignment with the directional goals of our strategic plan and not financially sustainable.” The decision is not about the Brethren Service Center property as a whole nor the other ministries located at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.

Open Roof Award Is Presented to Oakton Church of the Brethren

Mark 2:3-4 (the story of people breaking through a roof to bring a paralyzed man to Jesus) was the inspiration for the creation of the Open Roof Award in 2004, established to recognize a congregation or district in the Church of the Brethren that has made great strides in its attempt to serve, as well as be served by, people with disabilities.