Sometimes we use terms and phrases in conversation that indicate we know what we’re talking about but that does not mean everybody else knows what we’re talking about. Coming from District Conference a week or so ago, the thought occurred to me that the Atlantic Northeast District might fall into that category. Now I know that many of us are long-time members who have a clear understanding of what the district is, but my guess is that some newer people may not have a clue and maybe, just maybe, we all could use a review. So here we go.
The Atlantic Northeast District of the Church of the Brethren is one of twenty-three regional administrative divisions of our church nation-wide. It consists of seventy-nine fellowships and congregations that cover the northeastern corner of the United States. Most of the seventy-nine churches are in Pennsylvania with the Susquehanna River being the western boundary of the district. There are churches in Maine, New York City, one in New Jersey and one in northern Delaware. (The churches in southern Delaware belong to the Mardela District.) The District is led by a District Executive who is the administrative head of the district. The District administers the training process, licensing and ordination of pastors. It also coordinates the placement of pastors in church vacancies. The District also coordinates the following:
• Church Development & Administration
• Nurture and Christian Education
• Witness and Outreach
• Disaster Relief Ministries
• COBYS (Church of the Brethren Youth Services)
• Support for Camp Swatara
• Delegate selection for Annual Conference Standing Committee
These are only the most obvious functions of the Atlantic Northeast District. There are many subsidiary roles that the District fills as well. The various commissions are filled with volunteers by member congregations like Barbara McNally who was just elected to the Gifts Discernment Commission.
The District is a hard-working group that functions with a limited staff because of financial restrictions. They accomplish much with a real shortfall of financial resources and staff. My read on this is that we are very glad to have them working for us.
That is a very brief, condensed version of the Atlantic Northeast District of the Church of the Brethren. Green Tree is an important part of this larger body of Christ.