Following the bankruptcy proceedings, with NBA in a time of transition, the NBA Board sought “discernment about the future of ministries of mercy and advocacy in the life of the church.” They recommended that a Blue Ribbon Panel be appointed, “a group of persons to represent the church from a position of independence in order to bring trust and confidence to the process and the results.”
The panel’s purpose statement: “Through prayer and study, dialogue and listening, we will open ourselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit: To welcome and engage a vision for benevolent caring through congregational, regional, and general ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), And to offer to the church a direction for this mission of care (including the future of the NBA) in response to Christ’s call to serve the continuing and emerging needs of ‘the least of these.’”
First, the panel looked to “discover whether the church desires to be involved in benevolent care ministries at the General level.” The analysis: “We heard a resounding yes. As Disciples, the vision for benevolent ministries (ministries of mercy and advocacy) is still ignited by the biblical call to compassion and justice. We derive direction from the movement of God’s Spirit within people of faith whose prayers translate into a mission of care. As church, we still claim Christ’s call to this ministry in the 21st century; however, the General ministry of engaging in ministries of mercy and advocacy needs to change to being facilitator and catalyst in the life of the church.”
Watch video interviews from Rev. Belva Brown Jordan and Rev. Dr. Ben Bohren re: the Blue Ribbon Panel.