In addition to its work to make recommendations on business coming before the Annual Conference, the Standing Committee of district delegates also accepted a new vision statement for the Church of the Brethren for this decade during its pre-Conference meetings in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The committee has recommended the new vision statement to the 2012 Annual Conference for adoption. In elections, the body named a new group of church representatives to the National Council of Churches (NCC). An appeal was dealt with in closed session.
The denominational vision statement for the decade was brought by a task team that has been working on its formulation, and was presented by several members of the group: Jim Hardenbrook, Bekah Houff, David Sollenberger, and Jonathan Shively, executive director of Congregational Life Ministries.Elections
The statement reads: "Through Scripture, Jesus calls us to live as courageous disciples by word and action: To surrender ourselves to God, to embrace one another, to express God's love for all creation." It was presented in a booklet that included related resources, a study guide suitable for use by congregations, and ideas for how to implement the statement.
Two Standing Committee members, Ron Nicodemus and James R. Sampson, were appointed to the task team to help prepare for presentation of the statement in 2012. The vision statement also will be sent to the church agencies for their planning prior to the 2012 Conference.
Ron Beachley, Audrey deCoursey, and Phil Jones were elected Church of the Brethren representatives to the NCC. Also, new members were named to committees of the Standing Committee: George Bowers, Mark Bowman, Charles Eldredge, and Bob Kettering were named to the Nominating Committee; David Crumrine, Melody Keller, and Victoria Ullery were named to the Appeals Committee.