BRIDGETON -- "We're trying to create a place where genuine collaboration can happen," Churchnet Executive Director Jim Hill emphasized during his report to attendees at the organization's annual gathering and 10th anniversary celebration.
The event was held April 13-14 at Fee Fee Baptist Church in Bridgeton, site of the organizational meeting of "a convention for people who don't want to fight any more." A move to form a new state convention emerged as the split between fundamental-conservatives and moderate-conservatives within the Missouri Baptist Convention grew.
Attendees to this year's meeting looked forward, instead of back. Hill reminded listeners of Churchnet's commitment to serving churches, especially through the collaborative efforts of congregations assisting one another.
"We want you to not only ask for help but to offer help," he said.
During a brief business session on Saturday morning, Churchnet members approved the organization's cooperative giving budget, which calls for 68.95 percent or an estimated $329,477 of giving to be used for Churchnet ministries. They set the budget goal at $472,000, up $12,000 over last year's $460,000 budget.
The remaining 31.05 percent or about $142,523 will be distributed to institutions. The Baptist Home, Windermere Baptist Conference Center, Missouri Baptist University and William Jewell College each will receive 4.95 percent or approximately $22,721. The Missouri Baptist Foundation will receive 2.475 percent or about $11,360, with Word&Way to be given 6.75 percent or an estimated $30,983.
The Missouri Baptist Children's Home, Hannibal-LaGrange University and Southwest Baptist University each will receive 0.45 percent, or some $2,066, and Central Baptist Theological Seminary will be given 0.675 percent, or about $3,098.
The board of directors budget includes $12,480 for each of five initiatives, including leadership development, congregational health, church planting, missions mobilization and congregational relationships. The budget earmarks $2,400 for the ministry resources initiative.
They project income from cooperative giving at $459,000, with $2,000 in designated gifts, $7,000 through Churchnet's state mission offering, $3,000 in interest income and $1,000 from miscellaneous sources.
In other action, members elected Doyle Sager of Jefferson City to a third term as president. Donna Potts of St. Louis was re-elected as vice president, and Melody Pryor of Sullivan was chosen for another term as secretary.
Mark Conyers of Savannah, Nolan Carrier of Springfield, Ruth Ann Blase of Farmington and Pryor were elected to the board of directors. Brian Anderson of Jackson, Ron Mackey of Imperial, Jim Stuck of St. Joseph and Richard Carter were re-elected for a second term. David Holman of Farmington, Blake McKinney of Lee's Summit and Randall Bunch of Eldon will serve partial terms.
Members attending the annual gathering also approved the committee on convention committees' report, which included Steve Long of Marceline and Tamara Everly of Liberty to new terms on the nominating committee.
Sondra Allen of Jefferson City and Rudy Pulido of St. Louis were elected to new terms on the corporate documents committee, with Jerry Rogers of St. Louis and Charles Davis of Kansas City to the registration committee, and John Jackson of Farmington and Forestal Lawton of Kansas City to the program committee.