Thursday, July 14, 2011

From the Moderator: Charge to the 2011 Annual Conference.

Annual Conference moderator Tim Harvey, who will preside over the 2012 annual meeting in St. Louis, Mo., has issued a charge to the Church of the Brethren. His remarks were made at the closing worship service of the 2011 Conference. He invites open conversation with church members, pledging "that as I travel around the denomination over the coming months, I am willing to have any conversation with any person about any aspect of life and ministry." Following are the beginning paragraphs of his remarks. The full text is at or the moderator’s blog at

"On a chilly Sunday in November 1983, I was baptized at Bethel Church of the Brethren in Broadway, Va. This congregation has been my family’s home for several generations; the original church building (which no longer stands) was built on land donated by my great-great-great grandfather.

"Since that day, I’ve realized something about the nature of the church. On that November Sunday, I got all of you--and all of you got me. I like to joke about who got the better end of that bargain--I’m fairly certain it’s me.

"All joking aside, however, being called as moderator of the 2012 Annual Conference has made me realize the depth of the body of Christ. During this past year (and especially during the week at Grand Rapids) I’ve learned how deeply you love the church. That love for the church means that you also love me. I am humbled by that love and will do what I can to hold that with integrity.

"I’ve also learned that although we love the church, we have a lot of work to do--more than we expected--to learn what it means to love one another." (Read more at or

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