Page 48 - 2020 Conference Booklet
P. 48

1                                  DISTRICT EXECUTIVE’S

           2                           Report to the 2020 District Conference
           4      At the first district board meeting for 2020, I reminded the board that I was beginning my 7th year
           5   as district executive. First, it is hard to believe it has been 7 years already- time has truly flown. But
           6   as I told them that I was beginning my 7th year I said that, in the Bible, the number 7 is a symbol of
           7   perfection. I also told them I cannot guarantee I will be perfect.
           9      Little did I know that 2020 would turn out the way it would.  Little did I know that in 2020 we
          10   would no longer have a district office that we go to physically every day and the District Office
          11   would be in my house and Carolyn’s house.  Little did I know that, for many of us, corporate worship
          12   would be a thing of the future, but not a present reality.  Little did I know that we would be
          13   struggling with a pandemic that has touched the entire world - not just the United States. Little did I
          14   know that we would see separation from the Church of the Brethren.  As a reality for so many of our
          15   brothers and sisters there was so little that I knew that day.
          17      We have made so many adjustments in our daily lives, in our church lives, in our district lives, and
          18   in our world. And change, adjustments, whatever you want to call them, are tough. It is hard for all of
          19   us.  Yes, we serve a great God who loves us who already knows what we will go through and is
          20   willing to walk with us and if need be carry us through these times. One of the hard parts is working
          21   with churches and pastors to find new pastors.  It has been tough too to find candidates for churches
          22   because the pool is just not like it used to be as far as numbers.  It seems like, at this time of writing,
          23   there is hope for some, for some churches have been searching for so long. As I write this, I already
          24   have two candidates Sundays scheduled, but we are doing it in a different way. The weekends that
          25   we used to do are not happening like they used to. I am hoping by the time of district conference to
          26   have some good news for at least two of our congregations!  While others still search, we pray and
          27   seek and ask God to provide to our minds and hearts the person he has already chosen.
          29       Since last district conference I have taught a class in Brethren history for Susquehanna Valley
          30   Ministry Center. We are only able to have one in person meeting - the other two were by Zoom. That
          31   is so different, but we got through it and, despite the technology, we had some good conversations
          32   and I think some good fellowship.  I will be teaching that course again in January so if you have an
          33   interest in Brethren history or if you're a licensed minister that hasn't had that course yet, please
          34   contact Donna Rhodes at the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center to enroll. we would love to have
          35   you be part of it. As part of my role as district executive, I serve on the board for the Pennsylvania
          36   Council of Churches. One of my roles on that board is to serve on the personnel and nominating
          37   committee and at the time of writing we are interviewing people for the executive director position.
          38   We also have been charged with putting together a slate of candidates for our president and others of
          39   the board.  I ask for your prayers as we go through that important time the life of that organization.
          41      As we navigate 2020, it has been a real adventure. I never thought that we would be an office in
          42   exile - that we would not be able to physically be in our space to do the work that we do to support
          43   our churches throughout the district.  Like many of you it has been a real adjustment for us. Carolyn's
          44   been doing a marvelous job working from home, trying to keep things in order and trying to respond
          45   to the call to still have district conference - to still do everything that we usually do. I cannot thank
          46   her enough for her work.  We are looking for a new place to land and thinking about how much space
          47   do we really need are questions that we are asking, as well as questions of location. We covet your
          48   prayers as the committee from the Stewards Commission is working to try to find us a new home.

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