NBA Board of Trustees Meets in St. Louis, Celebrating 130 Years of Ministry

NBA   |   June 26, 2017
NBA President and CEO Mark Anderson, with NBA Trustees Rev. Mary Lou Kegler and Bob CooperNBA President and CEO Mark Anderson, with NBA Trustees Rev. Mary Lou Kegler and Bob Cooper

Members of the Board of Trustees for the National Benevolent Association of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) met together June 8-10 in St. Louis, MO, for their Spring 2017 in-person meeting.

“Rooted and Grounded in Love”

On Thursday evening, board members joined with NBA staff for dinner and presentations at Union Avenue Christian Church. Trustee Cindy Kim Hengst opened with a passage from Ephesians 3 as the ongoing theme and prayer throughout the meeting:

...That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (NRSV)

The 2016-17 NBA XPLOR Residents in St. Louis and Rev. Rebecca Hale, NBA VP of Mission and Ministry, continued the opening devotion with reflections on NBA’s 130 years of health and social service ministry with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Mark Anderson, NBA President and CEO, shared his president’s report, “History in the Making,” which further celebrated NBA’s history while also sharing updates from across the life of the church and looking toward the future of Disciples health and social service ministry.

Committee meetings were held Friday morning, followed by the plenary session convening Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, with Board Chair Jackie Compton Bunch presiding. During lunch on Friday, Hale provided an in-depth look at NBA XPLOR, which concluded its third program year this month. We look forward to welcoming 21 young adults in August for the 2017-18 XPLOR Residency, as well as hosting an NBA XPLOR Reunion for Residents who have completed the program in the last three years, coming up in February 2018 in Scottsdale, AZ. The board and staff enjoyed dinner together in the historical Lafayette Square district on Friday evening.

On Saturday, trustees heard updates from NBA’s strategic planning process related to organization culture and participated in an interactive activity representing NBA’s engagements coming up at the 2017 General Assembly. The board elected officers for 2017-18 along with three new members who officially join the NBA Board of Trustees effective July 1, 2017.

NBA Board Officers, 2017-18:

New NBA Trustees, 2017-18:

  • Rev. Dr. Jacque Foster, Pastor, Compton Heights Christian Church, St. Louis, MO
  • Cristian Marin, Student, Eureka College, Eureka, IL
  • Rev. Darren Phelps, Senior Pastor, Bethel Christian Church, Washington, D.C.

The NBA board and staff also celebrated the leadership and service of Rev. Dr. Suzanne Webb, pastor of Union Avenue Christian Church, who is retiring this year and ending her term on the NBA Board of Trustees. 

To close on Saturday morning, Hengst returned to the verses from Ephesians, “rooted and grounded in love,” and the St. Louis XPLOR Residents reflected on their time with NBA XPLOR before serving communion to conclude the day’s worship and meeting time.

“In many ways, NBA encourages discovery and action in the intersection of faith, context, and action. Without NBA’s ministry of exploring faith, values, and beliefs in dialogue with current realities, I could not have gone forward,” said 2016-17 NBA XPLOR Resident Rachael Wentworth. “It is my hope and prayer that NBA continues to grow so that it may reach out to more people who want to heed God’s call but may not know how, and that it may change the lives of anyone who participates as much as it has changed mine.”

NBA Stories: Celebrating 130 Years of Ministry

On Saturday afternoon, many NBA trustees and staff joined with local Disciples to celebrate NBA’s 130 years of ministry with a special storytelling program emceed by Dr. Norma Ellington-Twitty, former NBA VP of Program Planning and Evaluation. Storytelling panelists included Janice Lance, widow of former NBA President Rick Lance; current NBA President and CEO Mark Anderson; and NBA Trustees Rev. Mary Lou Kegler and Bob Cooper.

Panelists and attendees shared special reflections about their past experiences with NBA as well as their hopes for the future. They recognized that working with NBA “is not just a job; it’s a purpose,” and celebrated both “the giants who have gone before us” as well as the organization’s “willingness to adapt and change.”

“We are the NBA—past, present, and future,” said Twitty. “Individually and corporately, we are a valued part of NBA’s rich legacy of compassionate, caring, and committed ministries.”

(See photo highlights of this special event on the NBA Facebook page, and stay tuned for video recordings coming soon!)

Looking Ahead

The NBA Board of Trustees will meet via conference call on August 17, 2017. The next in-person meeting is scheduled for November 9-11, 2017, when NBA board and staff will meet in Charlotte, NC.

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About the National Benevolent Association
As the health and social services general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the National Benevolent Association partners with congregations, regions, general ministries, and a variety of Disciples-related health and social service providers to create communities of compassion and care. Founded in 1887 by six women responding to the needs of the day and on their doorsteps, for 130 years the NBA has continued to serve “the least of these.” 

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