(Nashville, Tenn. – 7/11/2011) – “Welcome home” was the message conveyed by National Benevolent Association President Mark D. Anderson last night at a dinner the NBA held jointly with the Disciples Care Network. The event was attended by more than 200 Disciples, including representatives from many of the NBA and DCN agencies present at the General Assembly.
Belva Brown Jordan, Chair of the NBA Board of Directors, performed the master of ceremonies duties for the evening. She explained in her opening remarks that Anderson has spent much of his first six months as NBA President listening to Disciples around the country. What he heard and conveyed back to the Board was the desire to reclaim the heritage of the NBA name.
Anderson said that he has also been working to live into the alliance and partnership between NBA and the Disciples Care Network, a group of health and human service agencies in covenant with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Member agencies include current and former service units of NBA as well as organizations that are connected to the church through congregations, regions, or other general ministries.
“The dinner highlighted a new beginning for NBA,” said Sue Cherney, President of the Disciples Care Network Board of Directors and Executive Director of Southern Christian Services for Children and Youth, a Disciples-related human service agency based in Mississippi. “It was also a signal of the strengthening of the relationship between DCN and NBA.”
Further symbolizing their connection is the booth space shared by the two organizations and many of the DCN member agencies. The space is designed to reflect a home, with living room, den, and kids play area.
“The idea is that as health and human service agencies, many of our missions involve helping people to create homes. Whether for low-income seniors, adults with developmental disabilities, or at-risk youth and families, home is the end result we are hoping to achieve for those we serve.”
The NBA-DCN dinner also honored the careers and retirements of two longtime servants of the church: Dick Savage, Director of Development for NBA, and Don Brewer, most recently the Executive Director of DCN.
“Don was really the driving force behind DCN,” Cherney said. “It was fitting for him to be honored in his retirement by Belva Brown-Jordan, NBA Board Chair.”
The dinner guests were treated to music by Heather Bond and Matt Nelson. Reverend Dr. William Lee provided the invocation and Reverend Dr. Sharon Watkins gave the benediction.
“We are living in a new day as NBA, serving as both guest and host in God’s house,” Anderson said. “We are excited and proud to look at opportunities to strengthen alliances with DCN member agencies and partnerships with congregations around health and human services. Through working together, we will begin to welcome everyone home.”
Written by Jaime Freidrichs