Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Annual Conference issues 2011 logo, makes online input form available for Special Response.

A new logo and a full theme statement for the 2011 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren have been released. Moderator Robert Alley has posted a full statement about the 2011 theme, "Gifted with Promise: Extending Jesus’ Table," at
along with detailed plans for Conference worship services.

In other news from the Conference Office, an online response form is now being offered for those unable to attend a Special Response hearing about items of business related to sexuality.

The 2011 Annual Conference will be July 2-6 in Grand Rapids, Mich. The event is open to all members, family, and friends of the Church of the Brethren, and will feature daily worship services, business sessions for congregational and district delegates, age group activities, meal events and insight sessions on a wide variety of topics, and more.

New this year, delegates will be able to register online at beginning Jan. 3 through Feb. 21, 2011. Online registration for nondelegates will begin Feb. 22 at noon central time. A letter explaining the registration process for delegates is being mailed to all congregations.

This year’s theme is taken from the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 in Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, and John 6:1-14. The logo illustrating the theme has been designed by Darin Keith Bowman of Bridgewater, Va.

"The expanding cloth logo concept depicts the feeding of the 5,000 at its essence," says Bowman’s description of its meaning. "The elements themselves represent the promise of a coming miracle that is beyond belief. The table surface is a cloth that expands as it transforms literally and figuratively into a dove. This present and future transformation is initiated by the Spirit and carried out by the faithful. The overhead view invites us to find our place at the table. The figures around the table represent different aspects of our faith journey, inviting (maroon), receiving (orange), and teaching (green). The different colors of the figures also give the logo an intercultural dimension. Finally, where two or three are gathered, we are certain of God’s presence. The logo can serve as a visual reminder that we can make shared experiences around the table so much more than just physical nourishment."

In the Conference Office announcement about the new online input form, Conference director Chris Douglas wrote: "The officers and Standing Committee of Annual Conference value the input of our congregations and membership in the two business items currently in our Special Response Process: ‘A Statement of Confession and Commitment’ and ‘Query: Language on Same Sex Covenants.’"

Most district hearings on these business items occurred this fall, with leadership from members of the Standing Committee of district representatives. For those unable to attend a hearing this fall the online input form has been made available through Feb. 28, 2011.

The form is to be used to share opinions about what Standing Committee should know regarding the statement and the query as the group prepares its recommendations to the 2011 Annual Conference. "As the e-mails come in, they will be compiled for consideration along with the responses from the district hearings in the work of Standing Committee," Douglas said.

Find the online form at -- click on "Special Response Input."

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