BCE Transition already in the works

Written by Jeremiah Owen

July 16, 2014

At the October 2013 meeting of the BCE directors, we resolved to “move toward merging” with the General Conference “as soon as practical.” As it turns out, as soons as practical may mean by the end of 2014.

[note:  Throughout this document, BCE = “The Seventh Day Baptist Board of Christian Education, Inc.”, we = “BCE directors” ]

In consultation with General Council and legal counsel, we have created a basic plan for legal and ministry transition.

Much of the legal plan has already been set in motion; A vote to approve dissolution and distribution of assets will be held at the annual corporation meeting of BCE. If that passes, it will be submitted to NY authorities and the legal process will begin in earnest.

We are working to ensure as smooth a ministry transition as is possible. We expect that a conference working group, called “Seventh Day Baptist Christian Education,” will become the primary contact point for Conference related Christian Education as of September 1, 2014. There are still a lot of details to work out, but the big picture is coming together.

What follows is a “big picture” document outlining how we anticipate the transition will occur (a pdf of the following is available at http://7db.info/transition). 

Outline of BCE Transition Plan

1/22/2014; revised: 7/16/2014 for publication

Goal: To make a smooth transition for Christian Education ministries

From: Allied Society —The Seventh Day Baptist Board of Christian Education, Inc. (BCE)

To: Conference Agency —Seventh Day Baptist Christian Education (SDBCE)

The end result of the transition will be an agency of the conference dedicated to serving Seventh Day Baptist churches in the area of Christian Education.

Basic Composition of the new Conference Agency

The final composition of the new agency will be five people elected by the Conference with staggered five-year terms. This agency will be able to appoint subcommittees as needed to make sure that specific areas of Christian Education ministry are handled (Sabbath School, Lay Leadership Training, Children, Youth, etc.).

Transition Plan

1. Initial Appointment of SDBCE Agency Members

The General Council will appoint a five-member working group consisting of members recommended by the Board of Christian Education. This initial appointment will include a designation in order to establish staggered terms (one each of five, four, three, two, and one year appointments). The group will choose its own chair.

2. Future Elections

Beginning with the 2015 General Conference session, one member of the new agency will be elected by General Conference for a five year term.

3. Primary Duties of Working Group in 2014

The primary duties of the working group in 2014 will be organizing itself to carry the responsibility of Christian Education services, to work with General Council in the budget process for 2016, and to work with the Board of Christian Education to prepare for as smooth a transition as is possible. As responsibilities can be transferred from BCE to the Conference and the new agency, they will be.

4. Date of Major Transition

The Board of Christian Education will be the primary Christian Education contact for Seventh Day Baptist churches through August 2014. As of September 1, 2014, the working group will become the primary contact and actor for carrying forth this mission.

5. General Conference Bylaw Change

A first reading of a bylaw removing The Seventh Day Baptist Board of Christian Education, Inc., from the list of allied societies and creating “Seventh Day Baptist Christian Education” as a Conference agency will be presented to General Conference in 2014 with the expectation that this process will be completed in 2015. (If the dissolution of BCE is not completed by the time of the General Conference sessions in 2015, the Conference will delay the vote to remove BCE from the list of allied societies for a year).

6. Dissolution and Asset Transfer Process

 The Seventh Day Baptist Board of Christian Education, Inc., will dissolve as a corporation. The Board of Christian Education will work with New York State, General Council, and other Seventh Day Baptist groups to make sure that BCE assets are distributed in appropriate ways. If possible, this will be completed by the end of the 2014. As of September 1, 2014, completing this dissolution process will become the Board’s primary task.

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