Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dominican church holds special assembly.

La Iglesia de los Hermanos en la Republica Dominicana (the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic) held a special assembly on Sept. 29. The meeting, held in the capital city of Santo Domingo, brought together 121 delegates from 19 of the current 22 congregations to call new leadership and to make organizational decisions for the church's life.

Stanley Noffsinger, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren General Board, and Mervin Keeney, executive director of the board's Global Mission Partnerships, were invited to observe. They joined Irvin and Nancy Heishman, DR mission coordinators, as representatives of the US church.

"A number of persons expressed to us how meaningful and important it was for the US church to be present for this gathering," Noffsinger said. "While the church faced significant challenges, our observation was that reason, compassion, and community prevailed."

"The spirit of the meeting reflected considerable unity, and a sense of common purpose to upbuild the church," observed Keeney. "This was especially evident in an instance where a person of maturity and grace, who might have been an obvious choice for leadership, chose to stand aside in the interests of the whole body." The Heishmans added that, "We clearly sensed God's presence preparing the way for this meeting, guiding the delegates toward making a number of wise and courageous decisions. We rejoice in God's goodness and in the dedication and faithfulness of the Dominican Brethren."

Noffsinger also preached at the San Luis congregation just east of the city, at its regular Sunday evening worship service. In spite of a heavy downpour, about 150 people came out for the service. A clergy couple, Anastacia Bueno and Isaias Santo Tena, serve as co-pastors for this Dominican-Haitian congregation.

Source: 10/24/2007 Newsline

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