Becoming the change
I was challenged by a sermon recently, as the speaker reminded us that leaders are usually the barometers of the health of the Church and the effectiveness of its ministries. As we experience personal transformation and live out the accompanying spiritual disciplines in fresh ways, we are able to lead others from the strength of personal example. Rather than simply instructing others to "do as I say," we should, like the Apostle Paul, invite others to "follow me as I follow Christ."
At all levels of the Church, you and I, as leaders, play an integral role in the transformation or, to use a “yester-word,” the revival we envision for the Church as a whole.
At General Conference 2010, the body affirmed that “God is calling the Brethren in Christ to reassert the primary purpose of the Church as developing earnest, lifelong followers of Jesus Christ.” This means that we must actively call one another—seekers and believers alike—to move forward, to take these next steps in the spiritual life.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, “We must become the change we wish to see in the world.” And as Brethren in Christ, we know that changed lives in our world will only begin with renewal in our own hearts.
—Don McNiven, general secretary
Info about MER on its way
The BIC Ministry Enrichment Retreat (MER) is designed for all pastoral staff members (not just senior pastors) and provides an opportunity to take time away from our daily ministry contexts to worship, learn, rest, build one another up, and prayerfully consider God’s call upon our lives.
MER 2010 will be held July 11–14 at the Embassy Suites in Dublin, Ohio. Further details are being finalized and will be sent out shortly. In the meantime, we eagerly invite you to plan to join us for this time of reflection and encouragement!
Last call for 2010 year-end reports
If your church has not already completed its 2010 Personnel Report, 2010 Financial & Statistical Report, and 2011 Cooperative Ministries commitment form, please do so immediately! The deadline for submitting reports was January 28, 2011. View 2010 year-end reports and 2011 CM commitment form »
Women invited to retreats
Every two years, BIC women gather for fellowship, worship, and reflection at the “Women at the Well” retreat, sponsored by the BIC Council for Women in Ministry and Leadership. The 2011 retreat will be held March 14–16 at Kenbrook Bible Camp (Lebanon, Pa.) and will feature speakers Debby Bentch, pastor at Messiah Village (Mechanicsburg, Pa.); Doris Barr, associate pastor at Mechanicsburg (Pa.) BIC; and Kathleen Leadley, spiritual director for Kairos Prison Ministries of Canada. Download retreat brochure »
Women are also invited to attend the “Come to the water,” a professional conference designed sponsored by the Wesleyan/Holiness Women Clergy, Inc., to strengthen, encourage, and equip women called to Christian ministry. “Come to the water 2011” will be held March 31–April 3, at The Millennium Hotel in St. Louis, Mo. More information »
Now accepting applications for 2011–2012 Youthbuilder Team
The Canadian Conference is pleased to announce that applications to join the 2011–2012 Youthbuilder Team are now being accepted. YouthBuilder teams are composed of four students (two girls and two guys) who have graduated from high school and who have demonstrated leadership potential and aptitude for learning and serving others. More information »
Record numbers register for spring term of Directed Study Program
The Brethren in Christ Church’s Directed Study Program (DSP) is experiencing its largest single-semester enrollment to date, reports Dorothy Gish, dean of the Church’s Equipping for Ministry program.
According to Gish, 107 students enrolled in one or more DSP courses for the current spring 2011 semester—an almost 30 percent increase from the last record-high enrollment (81 students) in the spring 2009 semester. Read on »
Youth come “Together” for YQ 2010
Under the theme of “Together,” approximately 800 high school students and adult leaders from 55 BIC churches across North America gathered at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto, ON, on December 27–30 for YouthQuest 2010. As a result of the time, between 250 and 300 students made decisions to take their existing belief in Jesus into action.
Many thanks to Dan Houck, Mike Wright, and the YQ planning team that made this wonderful event possible!
YouthQuest 2012 is planned for December 27–30 at the Renaissance Hotel in Baltimore, Md.
Combined Annual Report for BIC Church in the making
This summer, the BIC Communications team will produce the first ever BIC Annual Report, covering news from across the Church in 2010. Based upon the theme of Transformation, the report will be mailed out as an insert in the summer 2011 edition of IN PART. In addition to sharing stories of how the BIC Church is pursuing Transformation 2020, the Report will invite readers to take part in the vision and will report on our Church’s financial position. We hope this will prove to be a helpful and inspiring resource to our community!
IN PART article sparks conversation
In response to an article printed in the winter edition of IN PART entitled “The power to share,” an interesting dialogue has developed across the Church regarding the BIC approach to Muslim ministry. As this conversation continues, the Communications team would like to emphasize that the article was not meant to represent denominational policy on practices related to Muslim ministry but rather to tell the story of how one church family in our midst is seeking to live out the call to pursue peace and witness to the world in its own community.
As a part of our team's continuing commitment to creating space for discussion on this topic, we will be including letters to the editor we've received regarding this article in the upcoming spring 2011 issue of IN PART. We are also currently working to make available a dialogue that is occurring between Lynn Thrush (who wrote "The power to share") and Jay Smith (who works as a BIC missionary to Muslims in England) as they talk about their differing experiences in interacting with Muslims.
2010 Cooperative Ministries giving
We celebrate the fact that, in the midst of today's economic climate, BIC churches were faithful in their giving, helping us meet 97.8 percent of our CM goal for 2010. As we look to bridge the 2.2 percent gap in funding for the year, we are deploying an advancement officer in collaboration with the BIC Foundation; drawing from reserves; initiating an overhaul of church-wide financial planning practices; and establishing reporting and policies to achieve maximum accountability, economy, and vision effectiveness.
Do you teach peace?
In 150 words or less, respond to IN PART magazine’s next “To the Point” question: In our Core Value on pursuing peace, we say that “we value all human life and promote forgiveness, understanding, reconciliation, and nonviolent resolution of conflict.” But studies in the denomination reveal that many no longer oppose military involvement, and a growing number of BIC believe that in some cases, violence can be justified. Do you teach about peace and nonviolence in your church? Why or why not? To what extent do you know about and support the BIC position on peace?
Email your input to email@example.com by Friday, February 11th.
Transformation 2020 booklets available to order
Are you ready to be the change we envision for the BIC community? Preview or order copies of the Transformation 2020 brochure and imagine anew what it might look like to be part of an expanding mosaic of churches all seeing lives transformed by Jesus Christ.
“We are called to submit ourselves to God so that something new can come.” —Danisa Ndlovu, bishop of the BIC Church in ZimbabweTHE (BIC) ONION
Did someone say “change”?
It wasn't long after Christmas vacation that a mysterious, bearded man showed up in the BIC Church offices. This led to uneasy exchanges among office employees congregating during Tuesday break time.
“At first, no one recognized him,” recalls Pam Arnold, assistant to the moderator, Warren Hoffman, whose recent decision to cultivate a bristly facial tuft marks a pointed shift from his characteristic clean-cut look to his new rugged, yet distinguished, mountain man style. “At first, we thought we should call security to alert them about a stranger lurking around the office, but fortunately Don McNiven was brave enough to approach him first, and that led us to discover his true identity.”
While the case may have been solved at the General Church Offices, Arnold acknowledges that others are not aware of Hoffman’s new look. “To avoid any confusion at future gatherings, like the upcoming Regional Conferences, we wanted to alert folks across the Church to Warren's change in appearance,” she notes. “Have no fear: It's the same old Warren!”
Hoffman’s wife, Connie, had no comment on the new addition to Warren’s chin, except to say, “I love it!”
And as everyone knows, there's no arguing with the woman of the house.
—from an independent news source