October 2015

Greetings! Connect links the Brethren in Christ U.S. community in shared ministry and welcomes your feedback and suggestions. (Click "submit story ideas" below to share potential articles.)

General Conference 2016 Updates
While it's been longer in the making than desired, plans are being finalized for General Conference 2016 in Florida. This marks the first time hosting a Missionary Family Retreat and Ministry Enrichment Retreat immediately prior to General Conference. These additions, while exciting, also increase logistical needs. At this time, we are planning to host the conference at Stetson University, about an hour northeast of Orlando. To learn more about background planning and considerations, read more »

New Blog Posts on Threads
Hot off the digital press, new posts are live on the Threads blog. In one, BIC U.S. national director Alan Robinson reflects on the recent merger between Carlisle (Pa.) BIC and Cumberland Valley BIC (Dillsburg, Pa.) to form The Meeting House. Read more » In the other, Alan follows-up on last month's post, "Bearing Fruit in Africa," this time reflecting on his experience at the Zambian General Conference. Read more »

Search Updates for World Missions Executive Director
The search for a new Executive Director of World Missions has begun. Over the past few months, the search committee has received and followed up with a number of nominees, several of whom have entered into the application and discernment process. The goal is to have a candidate chosen for the position by the end of January 2016, allowing GCB to confirm the appointment during their February 2016 meeting. Read More »

Meet Jonathan and Becky Owen
The Connect newsletter exists to link shared ministry across the BIC U.S. As part of this, Connect will regularly highlight a BIC U.S. family or individual and the ways they are making an impact in the world around them. This month, we are featuring Jonathan and Becky Owen who, alongside their children, Micah and Rachel, have served as missionaries in Malawi since 2012. Read more »

"Honoring the Past, Building the Future" Campaign Update
In their September meeting, Leadership Council made the decision (affirmed by GCB) to revise plans for the upcoming capital campaign. The campaign was originally planned to address underfunding of the BIC pension fund. Consideration was then given to expand the campaign to include church planting. After much discussion, the decision is for this campaign to focus exclusively on pension fund underfunding. This will formally launch at General Conference 2016 with a goal of raising $2.5 million over the next five years (2016-2021). We ask each person to prayerfully consider how they might be able to donate to this important campaign to honor the past and help build the future.

Leadership Orientation
In September, 38 new pastors and spouses were welcomed into the Church family through the BIC U.S. Leadership Orientation. This three-day orientation is hosted every year in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and provides a space for new pastors, as well as their families, to learn about the BIC and fellowship with one another. Read more »

Making Missions Excellent
Across the United States, short-term mission trips are exploding with popularity. And while increased interest in missions work is exciting, it is important that organizers are sensitive to the communities' needs they are serving. To help our churches plan the most effective trips possible, BICWM is in the process of becoming a member of Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission, an organization founded to strengthen the work of short-term mission trips. Read More »

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