As the BIC U.S. family, we value making decisions together.
Our 2018 General Assembly — the delegates representing our collective family of congregations — gathered to make the following decisions this week:
1. The 2018 General Assembly confirmed General Conference Board’s decision to approve the General Conference 2016 (now General Assembly) minutes.
2. The repeal of the Constitution of the Brethren in Christ U.S. was approved.
3. The 2018 Manual of Doctrine and Government of the BIC U.S. was approved as presented.
4. Proposed additions to the Articles of Faith and Doctrine in the first paragraph below (bold) were approved and will be brought to 2020 General Assembly for final approval as changes to the Articles of Faith and Doctrine require approval at two consecutive General Assemblies; in the second paragraph, the additions (strikeout) were not approved:
“As Brethren in Christ, we trace our beginnings from a group known as the River Brethren, which originated about 1778 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Our forebearers stood in the stream of historic Christianity mediated through the Protestant Reformation, especially the Radical Reformation. They bore witness to the beliefs that set them apart by formulating a Confession of Faith. The first confessional statement of about 1780 and others that followed reflect the Pietistic and Anabaptist influences that have shaped our doctrinal understandings. Some 100 years later the Brethren in Christ adopted aspects of Wesleyan thought, which were incorporated into subsequent doctrinal statements.
Through the years we have reaffirmed and redefined our essential beliefs
while remaining in harmony with the historic creeds of the Christian Church such as the Apostles’ Creed. In the 20th century, new doctrinal statements were adopted by General Conferences in 1937 and again in 1961. In 1986 we decided to give written expression to our current beliefs and life. This was done with sensitivity to and respect for our doctrinal heritage. We regard each previous doctrinal statement of the church as having its own integrity.”
Updated statement (second paragraph): Through the years we have reaffirmed and redefined our essential beliefs.
A study will be conducted between now and General Assembly on how we can best communicate that BIC U.S. stands within historic Christianity and especially if we should reference one or more of the historic creeds of the Christian Church.
5. General Assembly approved realigning conference boundaries between the Southeast and Great Lakes Conferences: The state of Kentucky is now incorporated in the Great Lakes Conference, and the state of Tennessee shall continue to be within the geographic area of the Southeast Conference but will function under the oversight of the bishop of the Great Lakes Conference
6. Alan Robinson was elected to a six-year term as national director, August 1, 2018-July 31, 2024.
7. The nominating committee report was accepted as presented.
For more background on the recommendations presented to the General Assembly floor, read Part 2: Recommendations of General Conference Board, starting page 44, in the Agenda.