Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Leadership Team reviews budget and planning for Annual Conference.

The Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren, the group that is designated in the new denominational structure to continue the functions previously assigned to the Annual Conference Council, met Oct. 16 at the denomination's General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Participating were Annual Conference moderator David Shumate and moderator-elect Shawn Flory Replogle, Annual Conference secretary Fred Swartz, and general secretary Stan Noffsinger. Treasurer Judy Keyser briefly participated to deliver a financial report on the Annual Conference Fund.

The financial report indicated that the high attendance at the 2008 Annual Conference in Richmond, Va., provided a boost to the revenue for Conference, but costs for technical support at the site exceeded expectations by $72,000. Nevertheless, it is anticipated that the Annual Conference Fund will be in a positive position by the end of 2008. The Leadership Team will monitor budget projections for 2009, which currently appear to yield a deficit situation again.

The Leadership Team discussed ideas for revitalizing Annual Conference, specifically with hopes for continuing the celebration of the mission, vision, and values of the Church of the Brethren that was begun enthusiastically in connection with the 300th Anniversary of the denomination. The team will continue to support and work with the Annual Conference Program and Arrangements Committee in pursuing this objective.

Long-range envisioning for the denomination was another primary topic on the agenda. Building on extensive discussions by the former Annual Conference Council, the Leadership Team hopes to pursue the creation of a new visionary group composed of members of the Inter Agency Forum--which brings together the executives of the five Church of the Brethren agencies related to Annual Conference--along with some members possibly chosen by Annual Conference. This idea is in the beginning stages and will be discussed further with the Inter Agency Forum in April 2009.

In other business, the Leadership Team reviewed changes needed in the Church of the Brethren's Manual of Organization and Polity as a result of the actions of the 2008 Annual Conference. It is hoped that an updated version can be made available on the denomination's website by the end of the year. The Leadership Team also prepared a first draft of a revised set of bylaws for the Church of the Brethren, Inc. It is anticipated that the revised document will be presented to Annual Conference in 2010.

The Leadership Team scheduled its next meeting for Dec. 17-18.

--Fred Swartz serves as the Annual Conference Secretary.

Source: 10/22/2008 Newsline

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