The Mission First! pilot got under way with the meeting of the Administrative Committee (AC) in Indianapolis Oct. 23-25. Led by the new moderator team elected in Columbus – Moderator Tony Rodriguez (Florida), First Vice Moderator Tom Perring (Pacific Southwest), Second Vice Moderator Mary Lou Kegler (Greater Kansas City) and Moderator Elect Sue Morris (Nebraska) – the committee completed an agenda that included work traditionally assigned to them as well as additional items, serving as the Governing Board under the Mission First! pilot model adopted by the General Board in April 2015.
More history was accomplished as the Administrative Committee worked on the composition of the search committee for general minister and president. The final candidates will be presented to the winter 2017 Administrative Committee. The General Board will approve the search committee in a conference call Nov. 2. According to the Standing Rules of the General Board, the search committee is made up of the four moderators, two Administrative Committee members and five (plus one alternate) from the General Board. The GMP search follows the executive search model approved by the General Board.
The remainder of the AC agenda was packed with initiatives stemming from the 2015 General Assembly and from the business life of the Church.
- Mission First!: In reviewing Mission First!, the Administrative Committee asked the moderators to consult with the General Nominating Committee on balancing the membership of the Mission Council according to General Board policy. The AC is responsible for naming 18 persons to the Mission Council who will serve in addition to members nominated by regional ministries, racial/ethnic ministries and other bodies of the Church, such as higher education, for a total of 46.
- Governing Board: Meeting as the governing board in the pilot model, the Administrative Committee approved two changes to Pension Fund policy that in the past would have had to wait for the annual meeting of the General Board.
- Future of General Assemblies: A group chaired by Glen Miles, immediate past moderator of the General Assembly, is being named to re-examine how and when we gather. (GA 1532)
- Choosing meeting sites: A task force to look at justice concerns as we search for sites for future assemblies and assemble guidelines is being formed. Names proposed include representatives from Green Chalice, National Convocation, Disciples Women, Disciples Home Missions and others. (GA 1537)
- Resolutions: A task force on how the Church addresses ethical issues at assemblies (resolutions) is also being convened that will include 12 representatives from General Ministries and 12 from congregations. (GA 1524)
- Organizational concerns: A task force to address organizational concerns from the Hispanic Pastoral Commission is meeting in December. An earlier task force on eliminating racist language from governing documents will be consulted as well.
- OGMP board: As the board of the Office of General Minister and President, the AC reviewed budgets and received a crash course in the history, covenants and current distribution processes of Disciples Mission Fund.
The Administrative Committee is scheduled to meet again in person April 18-19, 2016. The 2016 meeting of the General Board was suspended by a board vote in spring of 2015.