The leadership of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (FGBC) has continued to set the stage for revitalized church growth and individual discipleship in North American Grace Brethren congregations. Meeting January 28 and 29, 2010, at the Grace Brethren Church of Simi Valley, Calif., the Fellowship Council discussed ways to focus resources and opportunities for multiplication, leadership development, and integrated ministries during the next decade as called for in the Commitment to Common Mission.
Their recommendations will be part of the agenda at the FGBC national conference, which will be held July 16-21 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio. The decade of multiplication initiative will be discussed at the Vision 2020 town hall meeting at 9:30 a.m., Monday, July 19, and will be followed by the second of two business meeting luncheons. (The first business meeting will be held on Sunday, July 18. For a complete schedule of conference, see taketheplunge2010.com.)
The Commitment to Common Mission document was drafted at the 2008 Charis meeting of representatives of all Grace Brethren fellowships world-wide in Bad Homburg, Germany. A multinational document, it contains three sections: church planting, leadership training, and integrated ministries. (A copy of the document can be found at fgbc.org/documents/2009ccm.pdf.)
The Grace Brethren conference endorsed the document in 2009, based on the recommendation of the Fellowship Council. In doing so, it set a vision for the FGBC through 2020. National ministries of the FGBC have also endorsed the document and are developing suggestions for implementation by local churches.
Local districts and churches have also been encouraged to consider endorsing the vision outlined in the document.
In other business, the council:
– Reviewed new church applications for Darby Grace Brethren Church, Plain City, Ohio; MISPA Missionary Community, Miami, Fla.; and Cap City Grace Brethren Church, Columbus, Ohio. All were recommended for acceptance into the Fellowship.
– Reviewed the national ministry status for Go2 Church Planting and cooperating ministry status for Vision Ohio. Both were granted provisional recognition at the 2008 conference with a review in 2010. The Fellowship Council recommended the provisional nature of the recognition be removed.
– Considered a nominee for moderator of the FGBC for 2011-2014 to be considered by delegates at conference in 2010.
– Adopted a proposal from Grace Brethren International Missions (GBIM) to recognize missionaries sent from member churches through agencies other than GBIM.
– Approved a detailed operating budget for 2010 based on the budget approved by delegates at conference in 2009.
– Listened to verbal reports from national ministries of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches.