Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Middle Pennsylvania District Conference meets despite early snow.

The 148th Middle Pennsylvania District Conference had a new twist this year with an unexpected early snow fall in the days leading up to the conference, which required cautious travel for some. Lori Knepp served as moderator.

Pre-conference activities began Friday evening with an annual Ministers’ Banquet. Seventy ministers and their spouses enjoyed a wonderful buffet dinner provided by Juniata College and hosted by Juniata president Tom Kepple.

The conference opened with evening worship on the theme, "God Lives in Us" (1 John 4:11-12). Kurt Borgmann, pastor at Manchester Church of the Brethren in North Manchester, Ind., preached on "To Love One Another." Joel Nogle, pastor at Memorial Church of the Brethren in Martinsburg, Pa., preached on Saturday morning, sharing the message that no matter where you come from your heavenly Father is "Your Daddy."

The conference business included audit reports of the district finances and Disaster Response Action Team. The Coordinating Team presented a 2010 Mission Plan. The $211,700 plan, which represents a $9,945 reduction from the 2009 plan and included no program, ministry, or outreach cuts, was affirmed by the delegate body.

Also a part of conference business was the "Query--Cooperative Ministry Among the Brethren." Full text of the query can be found at The query originated from pastors in the district’s Area 3 and was passed on to the delegate body for consideration by the Coordinating Team. After discussion, a motion from the floor to send it on to the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference was defeated. A second motion to pass it back to the Coordinating Team for study and action was passed.

District leaders shared information about ministries of their respective teams, such as the Shalom Team, the Calling and Credentialing Team, the Ministers’ Education and Support Team, and others. Individuals from congregations told about ways district ministries have aided them in their local ministries. The Youth Ministry Team held a service of consecration for the ministries they share throughout the district. District executive minister David Steele challenged each church to disciple five new members in the next year.

Friday evening offerings totaling $1,087 were designated to District Youth Ministry and the Pennies for Congregational Ministries offering on Saturday totaled $5,547.77. The District Conference outreach project was a collection of nonperishable food items and donations for the Huntingdon Area Food Pantry.

A slate of leadership was affirmed. Moderator designate is David Filson. Named to the Gifts Discernment team were Eric Biddle and Barbara Rowe. Named to the District Conference Program and Arrangements Committee was Freeman Snair. Jeff Imler was named to the Audit Committee. David Crumrine was named district delegate to the Standing Committee of Annual Conference. Named to the Coordinating Team were Rich Allison, Doris Miller, Bobbie Replogle, and Marian Goshorn. Jim Ake was named district treasurer.

Lowell Witkovsky, 2010 district moderator, was consecrated for his leadership in the coming year. He asked for congregations to be in prayer for the tasks ahead. The 2010 District Conference will be held on Oct. 15-16 at Maitland Church of the Brethren in Lewistown, Pa.

Source: 12/30/2009 Newsline Extra

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