Momentum

November 2012

WELCOME

Since our 2012 General Conference in July, BIC U.S. leaders have been moving in the fast lane. Providentially, no one has crashed or “spun out”—yet! Here’s an update on what is happening with the bishops, executive director, and moderator as they navigate their expanded responsibilities »

PLANNING AHEAD

Cooperative Ministries 2013

Cooperative Ministries (CM) is the shared funding stream in the BIC Church. In 2013 we’re facing a significant challenge, due in part to shortfalls in congregational giving to CM. So we’re asking you to share a letter, as well as a short video from your bishop, with your church board as our appeal for your full participation in our shared ministries in 2013. View letter and video for your Regional Conference »

All congregations are asked to complete the 2013 CM Commitment Form by January 31, 2013.

Announcing General Conference 2014

We are excited to announce the location and dates for the 2014 General Conference. After several months of research on possible venues, the General Conference program committee has decided to hold this upcoming General Conference at the Lancaster (Pa.) Mennonite School on July 11–14, 2014. This will be the first time since 1946 that General Conference has been held in Lancaster County, Pa. Read more about GC 2014 plans »

UPDATE

Name change for BIC in the United States

In July, the 2012 General Conference approved a recommendation to affirm two distinct BIC Church bodies in North America, one in Canada and one in the U.S. This requires a new designation for both Churches.

For those of us in the U.S., the legal name of the Church will remain the same (General Conference of the Brethren in Christ, Inc.). However, the General Conference Board has decided on a new designation for the BIC Church south of the border:

    Official name: Brethren in Christ Church in the U.S.
    Short name: BIC U.S.

These names are already being used in various venues (BIC U.S. website, stationary, etc.), and churches are asked to transition to these new names as they are able.

BIC U.S. address change

The address for the BIC U.S. General Church offices is changing. For many years, the Church offices have used a post office box address: P.O. Box A, Grantham, PA 17027.

Effective immediately, all ministries located at the BIC U.S. General Church offices in Grantham will shift to a street address in Mechanicsburg, Pa.:

431 Grantham Road
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-5812

From now on, the new address may be used to contact us. (For the sake of frugality, we will use stationary and print pieces with the old address until supplies are depleted. However, once those have been used, the new street address will be standard.)

Compensation Guidance for Pastors in 2013

Due to uncertain market conditions, continued high unemployment rates, and decreased cooperative ministries funding, the GCB recently decided to hold church administrator salaries for 2013 at 2011/2012 levels. While we are taking these measures at the denominational level, we are not encouraging this course of action for congregations. Instead, we encourage you to review total compensation (base salary, housing allowance/parsonage value and benefits), and, to the extent possible, to consider an increase of at least 1.5 - 2.0% as you continue your commitment to provide generously for your pastor(s) at a level fitting for your region, taking into consideration years of service, education and other factors. View pastoral salary recommendations and compensation worksheets »

New CM options for congregations

In July, General Conference Board took action to affirm direct congregational giving to ministries of the BIC U.S. Congregations that are allocating 10 percent (or more) to Cooperative Ministries are now able to offer direct gifts, beyond a 10 percent tithe to CM, toward specific missionaries, church plants, or ministries. Review guidelines for congregational stewardship »

In sending contributions to BIC U.S. offices, treasurers should use the CM Transmittal Form to indicate how the funds are to be applied: shared (allocated generally to the CM spending plan), designated (allocated to a specific area of the CM spending plan), or direct (pass-thru monies for a specific missionary, church plant, or ministry). View instructions for CM Transmittal Form »

BIC Health Plan

One of the valuable services BIC U.S. offers to congregations is a group health plan, which is grounded in two commitments that are important to the Brethren in Christ: stewardship and community.

The motivation for making this plan strong and viable is to support congregations by offering health insurance coverage with collective costs lower than if each congregation purchased comparable coverage independently. We would like to have the opportunity to provide a quote to your congregation, especially if you are not currently participating in the plan. We are in an open-enrollment period for congregations until December 30, 2012.

If your church is interested in speaking with someone who can provide a quote, please contact Pam Arnold at parnold@bic-church.org or 717.697.2634, ext. 5410.

New(ish) leaders

Earlier this year, three new bishops and an acting executive director of finance joined the Leadership Council. Meet the new bishops and acting EDF »

General Church leader search

A page has been launched to provide information from the search committee appointed by the General Conference Board to identify a new leader for the General Church. View GCL search page »

Wrapping up General Conference 2012

We are thankful for a good 2012 General Conference in Ontario, Calif., on July 6–9. Business sessions were full of tough issues, yet debate was consistently marked by mutual respect. Inspiring evening sessions were centered on inter-related aspects of our desire to engage our culture. A full report will be available in the official minutes. Until then, download (pdf) a summary report with actions on the recommendations »

Consultation on the Nature of Scripture

The Leadership Council, working with the Commission on Ministry and Doctrine, is convening a Consultation on the nature of Scripture. This Consultation—to be held at Carlisle (Pa.) BIC on February 5 and 6, 2013—will bring together 40 church leaders, biblical scholars, pastors and others, in a process of community discernment to clarify the Brethren in Christ understanding of the inspiration and authority of Scripture and to formulate principles of biblical interpretation for the Church. Read more »

RESOURCES

2013 BIC Week of Prayer and Fasting

Each year, local congregations are encouraged to embark on a new year by spending time with God and the community of faith in prayer. The week of January 6–13 is a wonderful time to foster an attitude of fervent prayer in your church. Whether you’re hoping to plan prayer meetings, quieter schedules, or daily prayer emails, there are many ways to get your church praying this January. Read more »

Register now for YouthQuest 2012

Under the theme of “Known,” YQ 2012 will be held December 27–30 in Baltimore, Md. Geared toward students in high school, YQ 2012 will feature well-known speakers, inspiring worship, small group discussions, out-trips into the city, sports, and much more! The cost is $350/person for those who register by Nov. 15. More info »

Update your church info online

The “find-a-church” page is the third most-visited on the BIC U.S. website. Thousands of people are using this resource each month to look up BIC churches in their area!

The BIC Communications team does its best to keep the information as up-to-date as possible but knows that not all the information is correct. Please take a moment to visit the page, look up your church, and email biccomm@bic-church.org with any updates or corrections.

Final edition of “Family News”

The lifetime of the “Family News” publication will end following the upcoming winter 2012 edition. Read a letter from the editor about the change »

BIC WORLD

STEP internship expands and 2012–2013 teams are commissioned »
Mennonite World Conference releases 2012 Peace Audit »


With hope and joy,

Brethren in Christ Church in the U.S.
431 Grantham Rd | Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 USA
717.697.2634 | bic@bic-church.org

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