Sunday, July 01, 2018

Annual Conference 2018

The Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren, 2018, is now officially in the books. Brethren from across the country along with contingents from our international partners met in Cincinnati, Ohio, for 5 days of spiritual nourishment and renewal, conversation and fellowship, and business and contemplation.

A significant component of our life together in the Church of the Brethren at present is the emphasis being given to a Compelling Vision. An entire morning of the business session was dedicated to begin exploring questions related to this process.

Delegates also voted to suspend business of the 2019 Annual Conference to give purposeful attention to the compelling vision process when delegates next meet together. In the interim until the big meeting in Greensboro, NC, in 2019, hearing/listening sessions will be held in each of the 24 districts through the U. S. and Puerto Rico. Information about sessions in the IL/WI District will be publicized within the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

Of special interest to the IL/WI District was the Unfinished Business item #3, Creation Care. This item began as a query from the Polo congregation in our district, approved by our district conference, and accepted by Annual Conference to be studied. The study committee presented its report to the delegate body and moved that the recommendations presented in their report be adopted. After 3 minor amendments to the recommendations, the motion passed. Two outcomes of this work is a page dedicated to creation care on the website ( and the implementation of a creation care network. The recommendations set forth in the Creation Carestudy are structured to meet on denominational and district, congregational, and individual levels. The suggestions are doable, attainable, and have potential for making a positive and lasting impact on all of creation.

The worship experiences were complete with spirited music and spirit-filled preaching. Living Parables video segments provided opportunity to witness the viability of the Church of the Brethren glocally (this is a word according to Moderator Samuel Sarpiya). Worship and other moments of conference were captured on video and may be viewed at the following link:

Moderator Samuel Sarpiya led the conference superbly adding in moments of humor and times of prayer. He then handed over the gavel to Donita Keister who will serve as Moderator through Annual Conference 2019 under the theme of Proclaim Christ Reclaim Passion. Paul Mundey was called to serve as Moderator Elect.

For more news, photos, and videos of Annual Conference 2018, visit the official Annual Conference webpage at: