General Secretaries Table Meets in Atlanta
For the second time this month, Atlanta was the site of a major denominational gathering. The General Secretaries Table, comprised of the chief executives of the denomination’s 13 general agencies, held its first meeting of the quadrennium at the new Global Ministries headquarters October 22-25. (Earlier in October the Global Ministries Board of Directors held its meeting in Atlanta.)
At the gathering, the General Secretaries Table formulated an aggressive plan of coordination and collaboration, built through a commitment to increase communication and collectively address issues around the four Areas of Focus.
They adopted the following statement:
We, the General Secretaries’ Table, promise to lead, along with others, the path of reaching out to take hold of God’s vision of authentic unity, which is already active in the church and world, by:
- Continuing to focus on mission and ministry and to inviting all throughout the connection to join and connect with us in this work
- Convening groups to think deeply about the theological, scholarly, missional and practical implications about the issues that impact our life together
- Listening broadly and without defensiveness to what is required of us as agencies and how we can best be of service to the connection
- Proposing strategic action that will help to propel the church toward greater relevance in an increasingly diverse and global context in the U.S. and Central Conferences
“The church stands ready for new hope, while our deep commitment to our mission remains the same,” said the Rev. Dr. Kim Cape, who serves as convener of the table. “We are moving forward together to achieve our missional goals and spread the love of God.”
The general agencies work collaboratively to advance the work of the entire denomination around the four Areas of Focus: developing principled Christian leaders for the church and the world, establishing new places for new people and renewing existing congregations, engaging in ministry with the poor, and stamping out the killer diseases of poverty by improving health globally.
“While the scope of the general agencies’ work goes far beyond these focus areas, they serve to unite our work and provide opportunities for partnership,” said Rev. Cape.
Along with Rev. Cape, the members of the General Secretaries’ Table include the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe
, General Board of Church and Society; the Rev. Junius Dotson
, General Board of Discipleship; Thomas Kemper
, General Board of Global Ministries; Barbara Boigegrain
, General Board of Pension and Health Benefits;Harriet Olson
, United Methodist Women; Dan Krause
, United Methodist Communications; Gil Hanke
, General Commission on United Methodist Men; the Rev. Brian Milford
, United Methodist Publishing House; the Rev. Fred Day
, General Commission on Archives and History; Dawn Hare
, General Commission on the Status and Role of Women; Erin Hawkins
, General Commission on Religion and Race; and Moses Kumar
, General Council on Finance and Administration.
In an effort to increase and coordinate communication on behalf of all agencies, the table committed to meeting three times a year and using those meetings to accomplish common work and bond in common mission that speaks with one voice of leadership, influence and support of the church.
Read the full release from the General Board of Higher Education at http://www.gbhem.org/article/general-secretaries-table-commits-unity-and-collaboration