NASHVILLE (7/11/11)—Delegates to the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) voted overwhelmingly to re-elect General Minister and President Sharon E. Watkins for a second six-year term.
Before the vote, Watkins reflected on her six years as GMP and her plans for the next six years, pledging to hold before the church “the fundamental challenge for us as Disciples of Christ,” which she said is showing the love of God to neighbors at home and around the world, and to one another in the church.
She noted the need for the church to “engage each other openly and tenaciously” on matters often left “to polite silence or hot debate.” Specifically, she said, “We need to talk honestly about the gospel message as it relates to race and sexual orientation in our church. We’ve been at a stalemate for too long on both.”
Watkins noted progress the church has made in the last decade: 700 new and affiliating churches, and more than 500 “actively, intentionally transforming churches” new partnerships between General Ministries and regions, consolidation and streamlining of services, and a clarification of the role of the GMP.
“In a second term I would continue to convene tables of leaders to address the matters before us,” she said. “It’s the convening of tables that is the primary leadership the GMP can offer in our anti-hierarchical, radically flat Disciples way of doing thing.”
By Sherri Emmons