Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Annual Conference announces 2010 theme, study committees organize.

The 224th recorded Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren will be held in Pittsburgh, Pa., on July 3-7, 2010. The theme statement for the Conference will be "Taking Jesus Seriously" from John 14:15, "If you love me, you will obey what I command" (NIV).

In another announcement from retiring Conference director Lerry Fogle, two Annual Conference study committees are organizing to begin their work.

The Resource Committee on Secret Oath-Bound Societies, appointed by the Annual Conference officers at the direction of the delegates to the 2009 Conference, organized on Aug. 27. The committee includes Dan Ulrich, professor of New Testament studies at Bethany Theological Seminary, as chair; Harold Martin, recorder; and Judy Mills Reimer. The group will develop a list of resources that affirms the Conference action of 1954 to educate and inform the church concerning membership in secret oath-bound societies. The committee is charged with completing its assignment by the time of the 2010 Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa.

The other committee formed by the 2009 Conference is the Special Response Resource Committee. It will hold its organizational meeting on Oct. 12-13. The group includes Karen Long Garrett, Jim Myer, Marie Rhoades, John E. Wenger, and Carol Wise. This committee will develop study materials and a discussion guide for use in congregations, districts, and denominational groups, focused on the content of the paper "A Statement of Confession and Commitment" and the query "Language on Same-Sex Covenantal Relationships." The committee has been asked to create study materials by April 1, 2010.

Information created by both resource committees will be made available on the Annual Conference website, in Source, and through other denominational communication vehicles.

Available online now is a statement from Annual Conference moderator Shawn Flory Replogle giving background for the 2010 theme. "We live in challenging times...," he writes in part. "The Church of the Brethren is made for such a time as this," his statement adds. "Among the most central ways the Brethren have lived out their spiritual inheritance--taking Jesus seriously--is through honest reading of the Gospels, followed by straightforward discipleship...." Go to to find the full statement.

In related news, the move of the Conference Office has been accelerated. The office is moving from the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., to the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., on Sept. 8-11. The Church of the Brethren Annual Conference contact information will be: Annual Conference, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL, 60120; Chris Douglas, Conference Director, 800-323-8039 ext. 228; Jon Kobel, Conference Assistant, 800-323-8039 ext. 229; fax 847-742-1618. Douglas will function as Conference Director starting Sept. 14. Retiring director Lerry Fogle will be in Elgin for training of new staff during multiple periods in September through November.

Source: 9/9/2009 Newsline

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