THE TREK: GENERAL CONFERENCE 2020
July 25, 2020
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and related restrictions, The Brethren Church will cancel its in-person gathering for the 2020 General Conference in Ashland, OH.
The conference was initially scheduled for July 20-24, 2020, at Ashland University.
Also, the Brethren Youth Conference (Engage Conference) and Brethren Academy 2020 will cancel gatherings set for Ashland.
The Brethren Church has made a plan "B", however. A digital conference will be held on Saturday, July 25. The digital gathering will include business, live speakers, and updates. Further details on that process and a full schedule will be shared shortly.
Frequently Asked Questions:
I already registered; will my registration be refunded?
Yes. All registrations will be fully refunded shortly. We will notify you when your refund has been initiated, and it may take 7-10 days to post to your account.
Is there a registration cost for the digital conference on July 25?
No, there is no registration cost. There is a reduced delegate fee, however. See next question
What is the new delegate fee, and why are you still charging a delegate fee?
According to our Manual of Procedure, delegate fees are to be charged to cover the cost of the conference. While our costs have significantly been reduced, there is still a cost to producing the conference. Technology costs, speaker honorariums, printing and mailing conference packets, and more.
Any delegate fees that are left after paying the costs of the conference will be donated to the 2020 General Conference offering, which will provide relief for Brethren Churches in the wake of COVID-19.
How Will We Attend & Vote?
The digital conference on July 25 will include two elements: the live video stream, which will include inspirational content, as well as broadcast of the conference moderator and executive director. Attendees will be able to "tune-in" via any web-connected device.
There will also be a mechanism for asking questions, raising discussion, etc. though we anticipate this being as minimal as permissible, given the format.
Detailed instructions will be mailed directly to each delegate's home address once the mechanism and platform is finalized.
Will We Have Time to Review Business Items, Budget, etc. Ahead of Time?
Yes. After your church has submitted its delegate list, each delegate will be mailed a conference packet. The packet will include instructions on how to participate, as well as a full agenda, reports from all the usual organizations, committees, and task forces, and a copy of the proposed national budget.
What If I Have Questions About the Budget or Other Business Items?
The Brethren Church National Office will host internet-broadcasted live streams of "town hall" style events throughout late May, June, and early July. This will be a time where viewers can submit questions and interact with Executive Director Steven Cole and Finance Director Jim Thomas and have any questions answered. These videos will be made available online after broadcast as well.
What About Engage Conference? Will There Be a Digital Version?
We're disappointed about Engage Conference being canceled, and unfortunately, there are no plans to hold an online gathering. We encourage regions to organize youth gatherings as state and local regulations allow, once it is safe to do so.
What's the Plan for Brethren Academy?
Brethren Academy is deeply based on in-person, relational ministry. As such, holding a digital version of Brethren Academy is untenable.
However, Brethren Academy will be launching an online cohort for students that will convene throughout the year. More information can be found at brethrenacademy.org
What About All That Money We Raised for Brethren Academy at Conference 2019?
Great question! The money that was raised through the General Conference offering in 2019 is still being used to fund Brethren Academy, just at a much slower rate! Your dollars will continue to support this important ministry, and will go even longer now!