Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Northern Plains District Conference theme states, ‘Here I Am Lord.’

Under the leadership of moderator Lois Grove and with the theme "Great Is Thy Faithfulness...Here I Am Lord," the 2008 Northern Plains District Conference was held on July 25-26 at Hammond Avenue Brethren Church in Waterloo, Iowa. There were a total of 143 registered participants including 75 delegates representing 25 churches.

In business sessions, the conference adopted a $110,075 district budget for 2009; supported the wishes of Maxwell Church of the Brethren to close, and set up a committee to help with disposal of the church's property; and approved the recommendation that the 2009 District Conference be held at a shared venue using the Baptist Camp and Camp Pine Lake on July 31-Aug. 2, 2009.

The delegate body also granted that participants in new church projects may place their membership in the district or in a neighboring or sister congregation until the project applies for and is granted fellowship status by the District Board, and provided guidelines for new church projects to move to fellowship status.

The district called Marge Smalley as moderator-elect. Helen Kerkove was called to the Program Planning Committee. Nelda Rhoades Clarke was called to the Standing Committee. Ben Nolt and Marilyn Koehler were called to the Nominating Committee. Roger Emmert, Gary Gahm, Linda Lantz, Steve Cameron, Mark Gingrich, Lucinda Douglas, Jeanne Helleso, Rhonda Pittman Gingrich, Joey Kimpston-Burkgren, and Aaron Peter were called to the District Board. In the District Board reorganization, Kathy Mack was named board president, Earl Harris vice-president; and Alan Oneal recording secretary.

Three ministers were recognized during the annual "milestones in ministry" acknowledgement: Nelda Rhoades Clarke for 25 years of ordination, Mary Jane Button-Harrison for 15 years, and Rhonda Pittman Gingrich for 10 years. Tim Button-Harrison was installed as permanent, half-time district executive, and Lois Grove was ordained to serve as minister of Leadership Development for Northern Plains District. A service of graduation was held for Laura Leighton-Harris for completion of her Training in Ministry studies. In addition, newly elected district leaders were installed with a laying on of hands for Alice Draper, as the district moderator for 2008-09.

The Friday evening offering was $787 and the Saturday evening offering received $1,264. An auction raised $3,500 for the district program and $500 for a Disaster Response trailer. One hundred twenty-eight flood clean-up buckets were assembled and brought by congregations and projects to District Conference.

In other news from Northern Plains, generous contributions have been given to the District Disaster Fund, according to the district newsletter. The donations have included $2,500 from the Sheldon congregation, individual gifts of $2,000 and $1,000, several $100, $200, and $300-plus gifts from individuals and congregations, along with many other donations.

The district has been collecting funds to help in the flood recovery effort in Iowa. In addition, South Waterloo Church of the Brethren has extended a special expression of gratitude to Briery Branch Church of the Brethren in Dayton, Va., for the donation of 60 Personal Hygiene Kits to distribute to those in the congregation who were directly affected by flooding. Kits remaining were shared with the American Red Cross. "Blessed are those who give of themselves, and grateful are the receivers," said a note in the Northern Plains District newsletter.

Source: 10/29/2008 Newsline Extra

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