NBA Virtual Board Meeting Encompasses Commitment, Successes, and Celebrations

The National Benevolent Association Board of Trustees met virtually on Friday and Saturday, June 11–12, 2021. The Board of Trustees has convened all quarterly meetings over Zoom since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March of 2020.

NBA’s President and CEO, Mark D. Anderson opened the meeting with the President’s Report, entitled “I belong to you, and you belong to me.” In the report he asked the Board to consider a passage from Romans 12: 4For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. [NIV]

Anderson encouraged consideration of the NBA Vision Statement — Creating Communities of Compassion and Care — as it relates to both this scripture and the shared work of NBA staff and trustees. “The idea of community comes from the sense of responsibility we have for each other,” Anderson said. “In a year full of uncertainties, one certain factor that I am clear on is that this journey has never been about the individual. We have seen how our lives are intertwined and connected with one another. We won’t change this world until we understand fully that I belong to you, and you belong to me.”

During the meeting, the Board of Trustees received updates on the operations and programs of NBA. The Board approved an increase in allocations for the NBA Mission & Ministry grants and affirmed the recommendation to expand to two granting cycles per year beginning in 2022. The Board also received the independent auditors report for budget year 2020 with a clean audit verifying that all of NBA’s financial statements are fairly presented and in accordance with accounting principles. The auditors’ report can be found on

In other business, four new Trustees were voted in and will begin their first term of service on July 1, 2021. NBA celebrates the following new Trustees: Rev. Dr. Judy Ann Alston (Columbus, OH), Sarah Page Barbour (Lynchburg, VA), Rev. Tom Harshman (Palm Springs, CA), and Wanda Scott (Richmond, CA). As new Trustees join the board, we celebrate and thank those Trustees whose terms of service have concluded. For their leadership, commitments, and tremendous dedication, NBA thanks departing Trustees Alex Cooper, Ariel Kidwell, Cindy Kim Hengst, and Suzanne Quenette. Among these celebrations, the Trustees and staff honored and acknowledged the upcoming retirement of Trustee Rev. Dr. Jacquelyn Foster from Compton Heights Christian Church in St. Louis, MO, where she has been pastor since 1996.

Outgoing Board Chair Cindy Kim Hengst offered her reflections on her time with NBA. “It’s been an honor and a joy to be able to work with you all. NBA is certainly one of the more forward-leaning ministries of our Disciples church. And so, I have equally learned as much from you during my six years of service on the board.”

Suzanne Quenette, who completed two terms of service on the NBA Board reflects, “I have very much valued my time on the board and, in many ways, that appreciation is felt across my family. My spouse gushes to anyone who will listen about the work of NBA and of the experiences I have been able to have serving as a Trustee. NBA is part of my family just as I am part of NBA.” Quenette came on the Board after many years of connection through the NBA Harvey and Mary Quenette Donor Advised Fund, which has both honored the legacy of her parents and generously supported numerous NBA programs over the years.

On Saturday, the NBA Board of Trustees opened the day with reflections and a time of prayer from Disciples General Minister and President, Rev. Terri Hord Owens. “It’s always energizing for me to spend time with the NBA board,” Owens said. “I think one of the challenges that our church has is […] that we have to move beyond identifying ourselves merely as serving a particular ministry or context. […] To understand that we’re doing this work interconnectedly and to amplify the many ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and NBA models that.”

The next meetings of the NBA Board of Trustees are August 19 and November 11 – 13, 2021.