Wednesday, May 07, 2008

On Earth Peace board meeting focuses on strategic planning.

On April 4-5, the board of directors of On Earth Peace met at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Each session of the meeting opened with devotions and prayer, led by members of the board. On Earth Peace continues to conduct discussion and decision-making by consensus, led by board chair Verdena Lee.

The primary focus of the meeting was program planning and prioritizing areas of work. The board received a preliminary report from a strategic planning work group, and approved the basic directions of the plan that is emerging from the group's work. In September, the board will consider the complete strategic plan.

Staff reports included news of recent work in churches in Florida and Puerto Rico; continuing interest in the Welcome Home Project; conversations with First Church of the Brethren in Harrisburg, Pa., regarding partnership in youth education; reconciliation workshops and youth retreats planned for many locations; and local meetings with constituents and congregations. The board was pleased to learn that in 2007, On Earth Peace provided direct programs and services in all 23 districts of the denomination.

A process of discerning how On Earth Peace will respond to questions and requests related to sexual orientation and inclusion in the life of the church concluded, after several unifying and clarifying discussions, with a decision to support all efforts for greater justice.

New board member Jim Replogle of Bridgewater, Va., was welcomed along with new staff members Gimbiya Kettering and Marie Rhoades. Updates were received from members of the board who represent On Earth Peace in liaison relationships: Doris Abdullah, on the UN NGO Subcommitttee on the Elimination of Racism; Phil Miller, on the steering committee of Christian Peacemaker Teams; and Madalyn Metzger, on the board of New Community Project.

--Bob Gross is executive director of On Earth Peace.

Source: 5/07/2008 Newsline

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