Disciples News Service

Mission Alignment Coordinating Council Begins Its Work

(Indianapolis, Ind. – DNS – June 4, 2008) – The newly-formed Mission Alignment Coordinating Council (MACC) is holding its first series of meetings this week in Indianapolis. The 12-member group started meeting June 3 and will conclude on June 5. The group, which represents a cross-section of clergy and lay leaders, is working to develop better, more effective ways that the general church can accomplish its mission, while still listening for the voice of God.

The MACC was created following this year’s General Board meeting in April where the board approved a Plan of Mission Alignment. That plan contained seven principles and three desired outcomes that will direct the council’s work. The group will meet two additional times this year. It is expected to present a report of its work to the General Board in 2009 that includes details for mission alignment and the next steps in pursuing the 2020 mission.

"For some time, we have talked about making our general church structures more transparent and streamlined," said General Minister and President Sharon E. Watkins. "What we are doing now is taking stock of the mission God has given us today and working to reorganize ourselves given the available resources and the mission we intend to accomplish."

She stressed that the work of the council is part of a larger process that started with the adoption of the 2020 Vision and its vision, mission and priorities. A second major step occurred at the 2005 General Assembly when changes were approved for The Design, which streamlined the General Board, among other changes. (The Design is the basic governing document for Disciples). The third significant step occurred at the 2007 General Assembly when the former Church Finance Council merged into the General Assembly, leaving the Church with one less general ministry.

"Our particular goals with the work of the MACC include greater clarity about the General Board’s responsibility for the mission of the Church; a new understanding about how to be one church that embraces diversity, and how general church ministries can partner with regions to equip congregations for the type of mission that they can not accomplish on their own," said Watkins.

After the June meeting, the council will show one or more of the proposals it has worked on to all of the general ministries that will have a direct stake in the process. The goal is to receive those ministries’ input and evaluation. When the MACC meets again in September it will review all that information to draft a single proposal. That proposal is expected to undergo further review by the various ministries. In the late fall, the coordinating council will meet again to fine-tune the document, which will then be presented to the April 2009 General Board.

Members of the council include:

Newell Williams, Chair
Moderator, 2007-2009 – Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
President and Professor of Modern and American Church History at Brite Divinity School,
Fort Worth, Texas

William "Bill" Lee
Former Moderator, 2005-2007 – Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Pastor, Loudon Ave. Christian Church
Roanoke, Va.

Carolyn Ho
Former First Vice-Moderator – 2005-2007
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) – Non-Profit Consultant – Seattle, Wash.
Currently residing in Russia

Mary Jacobs
Former First Vice-Moderator – 1991-1993
Pastor
Tempe, Ariz.

David Vargas
President, Division of Overseas Ministries
Co-Executive, Global Ministries
Indianapolis, Ind.

Sotello Long
Regional Pastor, South Carolina
Charleston, S.C.

Cherilyn Williams
Moderator, Christian Church in the Northwest
Tacoma, Washington

Darryl Trimiew
Chair, Dept. of Philosophy and Religion
Medgar Evers College
City University of New York
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Xose Escamilla
Pastor, Casa de Oracion
San Diego, Calif.

Kari Kempf
Administrator, Church of the Foothills
Santa Ana, Calif.

Tim Lee
Assistant Professor of Church History
Brite Divinity School
Fort Worth, Texas

Sharon Watkins
General Minister and President
Indianapolis, Ind.

OGMP Staff Support

Todd Adams
Associate General Minister and Vice-President
Indianapolis, Ind.

Beth Sullivan
Executive Assistant to the General Minister and President
Indianapolis, Ind.

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To review the principles and outcomes contained in the Plan of Mission Alignment, read the 2008 issue of Communique.