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Board Summary Letter

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Dear Co-Laborer for Christ,

In anticipation of The Christian and Missionary Alliance’s Board meeting June 22–23, 2016, Board members, their spouses, and National Office personnel gathered June 21 for prayer. As has been characteristic of recent meetings, the recurring theme during open discussion time, prayer time, and morning devotionals was the Holy Spirit’s presence and action in our daily lives.

Several questions were posed as a way to jump start what turned out to be a lively and engaging discussion. For instance:

Is the greatest legacy that we must recover in the C&MA a position of embracing the Holy Spirit among us? If so, how should we lead?

And other questions such as:

Has our commitment to “Jesus Only” and the anthem by which so many have been inspired given us permission to relegate or marginalize the Spirit?

How do we deal with the fear that the Spirit’s power might be misused? The fear of losing control?

Although our intention was not to arrive at definitive answers to these questions, the discussion produced some statements worth repeating:

We can’t catch the wind (Spirit) or run after it; we need to set our sails so that the wind (Spirit) catches us and takes us where it (He) wills.

We probably know much better what a Spirit-filled life looks like, less what a Spirit-filled church looks like, and little what a Spirit-filled denomination (Board of Directors) looks like.

The alternative to the Spirit is nice and proper, businesslike but powerless, sterile activity; the Spirit brings boldness and fruitfulness.

We left the meeting with some parting thoughts:

A Spirit-filled life is not about us but about having the power to complete the Great Commission.

Do we at the C&MA have clarity as to what we believe regarding the Spirit?

Do we provide adequate modeling of a Spirit-filled life?

Do we provide adequate coaching for church leaders regarding a Spirit-filled life?

Have we developed a proper balance between our hunger for the Spirit and our concern regarding misuse of the Spirit?

Is repentance required on this issue? Have we been arrogantly unemotional and in control?

As we continue to ponder these and other issues regarding the Spirit, won’t you join us in prayer, presenting these issues and seeking guidance from “him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen” (Eph. 3:20–21, emphasis added).

On the business side of the meeting, the following summarizes the salient points of the Board proceedings to the extent allowed by the duties of confidentiality owed on various issues.

The Board received and adopted reports from its Executive Committee, Committee on Church Ministries, Committee on Operations/Finance, Committee on Development, and Committee on International Ministries. The major topics of discussion were as follows:

Executive Committee:

  • The requirement of a signed acknowledgment of adherence to C&MA Doctrine and Position Statements (Statement of Faith, Statement on the Sanctity of Life, Statement on the Destiny of Those That Have Never Heard, Statement on Human Sexuality) for colleges’ administrative and teaching personnel was well received by the heads of the affiliated or subsidiary higher education institutions of the C&MA. Indeed, close ties with a recognized church denomination are vital when these institutions ask to be exempted from laws that otherwise would force them to act in a manner which contradicts our religious beliefs.

Committee on Church Ministries (Vice President Daniel R. Wetzel):

  • Several revisions to the C&MA Manual were adopted. Those include changes to the Higher Education Regulations (C2), Uniform Policy on Ordination (E4), and the Policy for Church Closure (E18).
  • The benefit of meetings attended by Board members, DSs (geographic and ethnic districts), as well as association presidents on different occasions and at different locations was recognized, and such events will continue to be promoted from time to time.

Committee on Operations/Finance (Vice President Kenneth E. Baldes):

  • Under the leadership of Ken Baldes and Sam Kurien, chief information officer, development of the C&MA Global Portal continues. Access to this site allows our workers to send secure e-mail communications, access documents and forms, download software (i.e., Microsoft Office 365), store and backup information and documents, and manage their accounts (including resetting their passwords). To date, 31 percent of our international workers have boarded. We expect all workers to board the Global Portal by spring 2017. This is a significant step forward for our workers’ security, convenience, and efficiency. In the future, access and use of the Global Portal may be offered to workers from other denominations or entities.

Development (Vice President Dennis K. Whalen):

  • Great Commission Fund (GCF) giving was discussed, and the need to continue efforts to increase giving to the GCF was affirmed. While church giving continues to be the main source of funding (more than 80 percent) and efforts to increase it will continue, initiatives to develop other sources of funding were considered. Increased funding of missions through the GCF will allow us to move from Level 2 (holding our ground/maintaining) to Level 3 (international teams adequately staffed, church planting resources restored), and ultimately to Level 4 (dreaming: new peoples, new initiatives) funding.

Committee on International Ministries (Vice President Timothy D. Crouch):

  • International Ministries’ Child Safety Policies and Procedures (CSPP) protocol was audited with excellent results. C&MA policy meets Child Safety Protection Network best practices. Our workers have a high level of training in child safety and reporting requirements. Investigative steps and several other procedures were modified as a result of the audit.
  • One individual and one couple were appointed for service as international workers. The Board rejoices with the new workers who God has called and for the faithful prayers and financial contributions of the Alliance family allowing us to send them.

Elections were held to fill the new term for the board of trustees at Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary.

We hope that the Board members’ sense of expectation of what God is going to do next spreads throughout our districts and churches.

In Christ’s love,

Steven C. Lausell
Corporate Secretary

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