The annual business meeting for the Charis Fellowship was held on Sunday, July 31, online. The meeting was comprised of Fellowship Council members, Fellowship executive staff, and church delegates, totaling about 55 people in attendance.
Executive Director Phil Sparling gave a recap of the past 12 months, highlighting several major changes:
- July 2021: Tom Avey officially retired as Fellowship Coordinator
- September 2021: final documents for the merger of BMH into the Charis Office were filed
- October 2021: Andrew Saunders was hired as Networking Coordinator (new position)
Andrew Saunders shared some other developments that took place over the past year:
- Randi Walle was hired as Editor and Communications Manager
- Wade Rininger was contracted as Creative and Design Manager
- Five Focus Retreats were organized and held in regions around the country
- Charis leadership visited and connected with our churches in Alaska
- A new Fellowship database and a new website are being developed for use this Fall
Phil Sparling also announced the Fellowship Council is still working to identify a nominee for the next Executive Director. It is expected that a nominee will be presented in the next few months, and as provided for in our Constitution, a Special Meeting of the Delegates will be called after the nomination has been made and communicated.
Several items were voted upon and unanimously approved by the delegates:
- The appointment of Tim Hodge to continue serving as Charis Fellowship Secretary
- The appointment of Doug Courter to continue serving as Charis Fellowship Treasurer
- Brad Blackstone (Alaska), Joe Caruso (Ohio), and Dustin Godshall (Pennsylvania) elected to a five-year term serving on the Fellowship Council
- Destiny Rescue receiving Cooperating Ministry status
- Resolutions from the Social Concerns Committee for the 2022–23 year
In addition, Findley Ohio Grace Brethren Church (Northwest Ohio District) and Conemaugh Valley Grace Brethren Church (West Penn District) have been given Associate Member status.
With the establishment of the new role of networking coordinator, a motion was presented and approved to eliminate the role of assistant executive director, subsequently modifying the manual of procedure. Similar changes to the Constitution were presented to be voted on at the next business meeting.
The 2023 budget was also voted upon and approved, and a list of potential nominating committee members was voted on in order of delegate preference.
After sharing highlights from national ministries and how God used them in the past year, Phil closed the meeting with an invitation for increasing our interdependence. “Let’s take next steps together,” he said.