Welcome to ModCob Issue 8

by David Wine, 1997 Annual Conference Moderator

That's short for Moderator-Church of the Brethren. This newsletter has been designed for you, the church leader. Each month I will address questions that may have been posed to me during my travels as Moderator. You will be given my phone number, E-Mail, Fax & mailing address. Please feel free to contact me. I welcome your input and suggestions. I hope you will enjoy your future issues of the ModCob.

Issue 1 : Issue 2 : Issue 3 : Issue 4 : Issue 5 : Issue 6 : Issue 7 : Issue 8 :

Long Beach - Here We Come!

The 211th recorded Annual Conference is almost here! Soon we will be gathering together to worship, do business, attend Bible studies and renew our friendships.

As Brethren we believe certain things about Annual Conference. We believe first of all that the Holy Spirit speaks most clearly to us as the body of believers. We come together in Long Beach to discern together where God is calling and leading us as the Church of the Brethren. We believe that it is of high importance to listen and sense the leading of the Spirit. Although we "debate" the issues, in a real sense we seek to eliminate debate and maximize discernment. Annual Conference is a setting where we come together to consider questions before the church, seeking the will of God through prayer and spirit-based "debate".

In this regard, I ask you to come to Long Beach having carefully studied the business items. Learn as much as you can about them before you come and begin to familiarize yourself with their intent. But also come with an open and willing heart, ready even to change your mind about certain issues as the Spirit leads you. We believe our ideas are first internalized individually but they are "tested" through prayer and coming together as the body. We seek the mind of Christ together!

I want to encourage all of us to take seriously our call to discern where God is calling our church. But I also want us to realize that, important as Annual Conference is, it is still only part of what makes us the Church of the Brethren. The issues and decisions are important but they, in and of themselves, are not the only key thing in the church?s life.

It is very important that we take our tasks seriously while at Long Beach but it is also important that we realize that not everything will get solved or fixed for the Church of the Brethren through Annual Conference. Our denomination?s ministries transcend Annual Conference and we are a sum of all our parts. Annual Conference is a very important part of who we are but it is not the only element. Come, then, with a deep sense of commitment to give your best to the business processes of Annual Conference. But also come ready to experience the worship, fellowship and spiritual renewal that Conference offers as well, realizing that who we are as Brethren is larger than Long Beach.

Finally, may I ask all of us to prepare for Annual Conference through prayer, fasting, and spiritual disciplines. It is tremendously important for us to come to Long Beach, strengthened by the Holy Spirit, understanding that we do business out of a spiritual context.

Prayer For Moderator-Elect Jimmy Ross

Due to prostate cancer and surgery, Jimmy Ross, our Moderator-elect will not be in Long Beach throughout the business sessions. Please join in prayer for a speedy recovery and renewed strength for Jimmy. His presence and special gifts will be missed greatly by all of us in Long Beach!

Special Events

Annual Conference always has a number of special events and activities throughout the week. You will note many of them in your program book as well as through announcements throughout the week. Here are a few that you might want to note in advance:

We will be having an old-fashioned Brethren "family picnic" on Friday evening for the evening meal. We understand that Long Beach will be "gridlocked" that evening, July 4th, due to celebrations, so this will be your easiest and most fun way to enjoy a meal together and escape the heavy traffic!

A special concert will be given by Huntley Brown 9:00 p.m. Saturday evening following worship. You will be amazed at Huntley?s musical talents and his wide variety of musical tastes.

A special video on the recent John Kline celebration will be shown at 9:00 p.m. Friday following worship. This will be a chance for anyone to renew their historical perspectives of a Brethren hero and learn about the special commemorative activities recently hosted by the Linville Creek Church of the Brethren.

Thanks Anne!

Anne Myers will be serving her tenth and final year of her two term service as Annual Conference secretary. Ten Annual Conferences have benefited from her extraordinary attention to details and helpful counsel. Anyone who has served an Annual Conference assignment well knows the help Anne gives and her special gifts of organization and process. More importantly, serving as Secretary requires a tremendous amount of work throughout the entire year. It literally means having a second job. To do that for ten years requires an immense commitment to the church. Please join us in thanking Anne for sharing her gifts and time on our behalf!

1997 Annual Conference Moderator David Wine