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N.Y. Baptists test changes in bylaws

AMHERST, N.Y. (BP) — Messengers to the Baptist Convention of New York’s 2013 annual meeting implemented on a trial basis two changes to BCNY bylaws and approved recommendations on carrying out the Vision Task Force plan.

Proposed changes to the BCNY constitution and bylaws to be implemented on a trial basis are a provision stating the BCNY president also will chair the executive board, along with a change in the structure of selecting committee members to “closely represent the proposed changes” of the Vision Task Force, according to the New York Baptist, BCNY’s official newsletter. Other proposed changes in the constitution will be considered next year, the newsletter reported.

The task force was organized in 2011 to study and recommend changes to BCNY’s purpose, vision, values and mission. The convention formed a strategic implementation team last year to recommend an appropriate implementation of changes the task force suggested.

The team’s plan approved by messengers states that the responsibility for the BCNY mission resides with the BCNY staff; the leadership of the mission resides with the BCNY executive director/treasurer; and the accountability of the mission lies with the BCNY administrative team.

Messengers to the 44th annual BCNY meeting met Sept. 22-24 at Amherst (N.Y.) Baptist Church, with “Standing in Awe Together” as the convention’s theme. The 143 registered messengers and visitors represented 53 of the 414 BCNY- affiliated churches.

The group approved a $1,696,526 budget, $67,500 less than the 2013 amount. The budget anticipates $680,000 in Cooperative Program gifts from BCNY churches, with 25 percent of CP receipts to be forwarded to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions, a decrease from the 28.5 percent of CP receipts given this year. However, any money received in excess over the budget will be designated 50 percent to the CP and 50 percent to the convention’s reserve fund, according to the BCNY.

Elected as convention officers are: president, Dale Suel, pastor of Amherst Baptist Church; first vice president, Ed Hart, director of missions of the Central New York Baptist Association; and second vice president, Scott Gillette, associate pastor of Amherst Baptist Church. Van McClain, a member at Trinity Baptist Church in Niskayuna, N.Y., was reelected recording secretary.

Speakers included Frank Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee; BCNY President Ed Hart; Mike Spradlin, president of the Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary; and Sam Macri, pastor of Crosspoint Church in Whitesboro, N.Y.

BCNY Executive Director Terry Robertson, during his address, presented a plaque to Dennis and Elaine O’Neill, members of Living Gospel Baptist Church in Rutherford, N.J., for their service during Hurricane Sandy disaster relief efforts.

Next year’s meeting will be held Sept. 28-30 in the Metropolitan New York area, the BCNY reported. BCNY covers all of New York state, northern New Jersey, western Massachusetts and southwestern Connecticut.
Compiled from reporting by the Baptist Convention of New York and the New York Baptist, BCNY’s official newsletter. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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