Thursday, January 29, 2009

Leadership Team works toward revisions of church documents.

The Church of the Brethren Leadership Team met at Circle of Peace Church of the Brethren in Arizona on Dec. 17-18, 2008, with all four members present: Annual Conference moderator David Shumate, moderator-elect Shawn Flory Replogle, secretary Fred Swartz, and general secretary Stan Noffsinger.

The Leadership Team is working with diligence toward a revision of the bylaws of Church of the Brethren, Inc., as indicated to the delegates of the 2008 Annual Conference. At last year’s Conference a preliminary set of bylaws was approved in order for the new denominational structure to be initiated. It is expected that the Mission and Ministry Board will review the revised bylaws in March at a meeting in New Windsor, Md.

The team also is working at revisions to the Church of the Brethren’s Manual of Organization and Polity. A number of changes are necessary to incorporate various actions of the 2008 Annual Conference. As soon as the polity is updated, it will be posted at on the denominational web site.

In other business, the Leadership Team set Sept. 1 as the starting date of the new Annual Conference executive director, but with the expectation that the new director will be hired in time to attend Annual Conference in San Diego in late June. Applications for the position will be accepted after Jan. 15. The new director will work with retiring Annual Conference executive Lerry Fogle, for orientation.

The Annual Conference offices will be relocated from the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., to the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., on Sept. 21.

Other items on the agenda included approval of a survey compiled by the Program and Arrangements Committee to acquire information from the denomination regarding participation in Annual Conferences. Distribution of the survey is expected to cover a wide spectrum of the church. The Leadership Team also plans to propose to the 2009 Standing Committee a denominational committee that will set goals for the denomination’s mission. The team in addition has begun planning for developing a Moderator’s Manual, as recommended by the Doing Church Business study paper of 2007.

--Fred Swartz serves as the Annual Conference secretary.

Source: 1/29/2009 Newsline

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