On October 6th Grover Duling, Scott Kinnick, Larry Dentler and Craig Howard traveled to Windber Pennsylvania to meet with leaders of 7 churches that have joined the Covenant Brethren Church. The meeting was to discuss the possibility of forming their own region. Each church was invited to send 2 representatives to pray and plan for the future of a cooperative ministry between these churches and others in the area yet to join.
We first reviewed some things churches need to remember as they go through the process of reorganizing to a CBC congregation. There are some small things that are easily forgotten that need to be considered:
- Churches need to look into legally changing names on cemeteries as well as the church itself
- Getting a new EIN number and possibly a 501 (c)3 status and how to apply
- The need for incorporation within your state
- The need to update your bylaws and updating your webpages
- The need to inform members that may have made bequests in their wills, that they will need to change the name on the bequest or it can be ruled invalid
- The recommendation to seek legal council in this process to avoid easily made mistakes
Next, we moved into looking at some different structural models for regions. Each region will have the right to adjust that structure to meet the needs of that region but some structural models were offered to provide a starting point for their organizational plan. Grover presented a plan that is being considered by the Central Allegheny Region. Craig Howard presented a plan that may be a simpler starting point and Scott Kinnick presented the model that is being used in the Southern region. Scott made it clear that any model needs to remain fluid to adjust to the needs of the regions as it develops and to not overly complicate the structure in the beginning but allow it to develop. The primary concern is that the region holds fast to the statement of faith in all of its planning.
There was discussion about the need for the group to choose a name for their region and it was made clear that each region would choose its own name but Scott recommended that they keep it simple.
We then moved into a question-and-answer time and three questions that seemed to carry the most concern were:
- Will there be a pastoral training program offered through the regions and if so, how soon? Grover, Scott and Larry addressed this assuring them that this was in process and high on the executive committee’s list of priorities.
- Funding of the regional and national programs were discussed and the question was asked about how the churches would be made aware of the needs of the national office and would there be a budget developed and released that would give the churches an idea of where the money was being spent. Grover asked how many of them saw the need for a formal budget and the group unanimously affirmed their desire to see that.
- There were questions raised about the district camping program and information was shared by a member of the board of directors on how things were being viewed by the camp and the camps desire to continue to work with all of the CBC churches.
The meeting was ended with the planning of a date late in the spring of 2022 for the next meeting and an air of excitement for the future of the churches present.