2019 District Conference Highlights
The 2019 Southern Ohio/Kentucky District Conference was held October 11 & 12 at Happy Corner Church of the Brethren.
- Moderator Carl Eubank began the Friday sessions with an address on the theme of “God Provides”.
- Workshops/insight sessions made up the day on Friday with sessions being led by staff from Brethren Benefit Trust, the Ecumenical Stewardship Center, and resource persons from our own district.
- Meals and other hospitality were provided by the host congregation. Appreciation is expressed to Happy Corner for this ministry to conference attenders.
- Friday evening worship began with a concert by The Southern Ohio/Kentucky Men’s Choir with various selections.
- Worship continued as planned by the Program and Arrangements Committee, with Brian Messler as guest speaker.
- Saturday brought the business items before the delegates and included one more workshop slot.
- Gifts Discernment presented the slate for district offices for the coming year with those presented being affirmed. Those called for the coming year were Nick Beam as moderator-elect; Jennifer Keeney Scarr, Ron Mack, Ann Stackhouse, Mike Yingst, and Jill Schweitzer to the District Board; Barb Sayler to the Program and Arrangements Committee; Fred Bernhard as Standing Committee delegate; and PJ Arndt as District Clerk.
- Andrew and Debi Wright were introduced as District Mission Ambassadors who will be sharing the district mission with congregations and gathering stories from congregations to share.
- Burt and Helen Wolf shared a BDM update.
- Various denominational representatives were introduced including Jay Wittmeyer of Ministry and Mission Board staff, Loyce Borgmann of Brethren Benefit Trust, Gail Connerley of Bethany Seminary, Carla Gillespie of the On Earth Peace board, and Nyampa Kwabe International Scholar-in-Residence at Bethany. Gail and Carla shared brief reports from their agencies and Professor Kwabe led our prayer for the lunch meal.
- We celebrated the completion of the Training in Ministry program for Dave Balmer (Flat Creek and Mud Lick), Jon Keller (Troy), Larry Lutz (Piqua) and Mike Yingst (Covington). TRIM is one of the approved training tracks for set-apart ministry in the Church of the Brethren.
- Fifteen ministers were recognized for ordination anniversaries.
- The District Young Adult Ministry was highlighted by Laura Brown who is coordinating this ministry.
- Various other ministries were highlighted including the Together magazine, District Deacons, partnership with the Ecumenical Stewardship Center, and the work of the District Board and commissions.
- 2018 Financials were presented along with an update of 2019 to date. The 2020 District Budget was presented and following significant conversation regarding the budget, it was approved by the delegates with the understanding that the board will be working on the future financial viability of district ministries.
- A recognition service and sending of the three withdrawing congregations was shared, led by board chair Jen Scarr.
- Delegates approved the request of the Bear Creek congregation to be disorganized (closed) by the end of the year. Prayer for the Bear Creek delegates and other congregational members was shared by Moderator-elect Sandy Jenkins.
- Several grant recipients from the Empowering Congregations, Empowering Leadership and Empowering Emerging Ministries grants shared stories of the impact of these grants.
- Moderator Carl Eubank passed the gavel and service cup to Moderator-elect Sandy Jenkins who shared a closing word with the delegates and attenders. Next year’s conference theme is “Christ’s Ambassadors” and will be held at the New Carlisle church on October 9-10, 2020.