Wednesday, February 22, 2006

WVBC "Working Group on Denominational Relationships" Aims to Describe, Not Prescribe

This month's report from the WVBC "Working Group on Denominational Relationships" not only updates the rest of us on the progress being made but offers its own scoop for some of us in non WV locales. While many of us were expecting a final recommendation from the commission, they profess that was never part of their charter. Instead, they only see their task as exploring and explaining denominational relationships so that congregations and decision makers will have all of the necessary information available to them. Interesting.

Report of the Working Group
February 10, 2006

The Working Group on Denominational Relationships continues to “find the facts” in an attempt to understand the relationships between churches, our region and the agencies and institutions of our denomination. Following an initial orientation in November, the group has met two additional times. Our continuing mission is “to pursue and report the facts and options concerning the West Virginia Baptist Convention’s future relationship with the ABC/USA for the purpose of making informed decisions.”

Members of the Working Group have been in contact with denominational, regional and church leaders across the nation. Group members have applied themselves to comprehending the intricate, organizational relationships between these and reporting to the Working Group their findings. Those group members again are:
• Jim Johnson
• Holley Faulkner
• Paul Ritchey
• Audy Perry
• Jean Cunningham
• Ed Rogers
• and Larry Willison, Marijane Kiley, Rich McClure and David Carrico.

The Working Group is meeting monthly. Their next meeting is March 10, 2006.

The Emmanuel Baptist church in Charleston has graciously provided space for the group to meet.

Regular updates will be made available through the West Virginia Baptist newsletter. The group will report to the Executive Committee on April 1, 2006. Following that report, we hope to promote a plan for sharing our findings with the larger group of West Virginia Baptists. We are well on our way to meeting the goal of having something to the larger group by the 2006 Annual Meeting.

Confusion still exists as to the purpose of the Working Group. Some are anticipating a recommendation from the group. That will not happen. It is imperative that we all understand the Working Group is not responsible for making any recommendations. The group exists for the purpose of helping all of us to understand how we are related. What each individual, each church, each association and each region does with the provided information will be determined by the action of those bodies. Our aim is to help each make informed decisions.

Submitted by
Richard McClure, Chair

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