In November, the BCC Assembly of Representatives convened an online meeting. The establishment of a new mission organization and election of members to the nomination committee were among the items on the agenda. 62 Representatives from 41 local churches participated.
By: Johanne Reiersrud – Poto: BCC (representative image)
Hosted online, this was the third Assembly meeting of 2020. 61 voting representatives from 21 countries and 41 different local churches attended. Other represented parties at the meeting included the Church Elders, the Board, and the BCC secretariat.
Background for the extraordinary meeting of the Representative Assembly in the fall
On July 13, 2020, the BCC Assembly of Representatives decided to take the first steps to organize the church’s activities into a formal federation – the BCC Federation. Separate provisions for this were introduced in BCC’s bylaws § 5, and the new media organization was admitted simultaneously.
For the November 11 meeting, the secretariat had prepared eight motions needing resolutions. Several of these were a follow-up to the amendments to the new bylaws that were adopted by the Assembly in the summer. One matter was listed under “miscellaneous.”
The following motions were considered at the meeting:
- Admission and financing of a new mission organization in the BCC Federation.
- Election of members to the nomination committee
- Adoption of directives for the secretariat
- Election of the board, and of an auditor for the new media foundation.
- Application for BCC’s membership in the Christian Council of Norway (NKR)
A new mission organization in the BCC federation
Mission work is a natural part of the BCC federation. The church’s missionary history goes way back in time, from Johan Oscar Smith’s work along the Norwegian coast and in Denmark, to Germany during the 1950s, and on to the present day where the church has a presence all over the world.
Since the early 2000s, there have been several major mission projects around the world, including the construction of church buildings in South America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. These have different ownership and operating models, but the majority are ultimately owned by independent non-profit organizations with the same or similar objectives as BCC.
A new mission organization is being established in the United States which aims to efficiently manage future international missionary activities. BCC will increase its financial support for mission work in collaboration with this new mission organization.
Application for membership in the Christian Council of Norway
BCC has been an observer member of the Christian Council of Norway (NKR) for almost a year. The Assembly of Representatives was asked to vote on a recommendation to apply for full membership in the Council, and the result was unanimous support for the Church Elders’ resolution to apply for membership.
Harald Kronstad has managed the process and dialogue with the Council during the past two years. Together with others from BCC he has participated in meetings with NKR. This has been a positive process, with open and respectful conversations.
Considering the changes in society and the general conditions for Christianity, BCC recognizes that Christian denominations will benefit from standing together. There may be political and societal changes that will potentially challenge freedom of religion for Christians, so BCC desires good cooperation in order to bolster the rights and conditions of Christians in society.
All motions passed
All motions were passed with more than a 50% majority. Two of the motions were adopted unanimously, while three were passed with a majority of over 95%. Finn Åge Ødegård, a member of the secretariat, recorded minutes for the meeting.
An additional meeting of the Assembly of Representatives is planned before the end of 2020.