By Gary Walter
CHICAGO, IL (March 21, 2013) – The Executive Board of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) covered an ambitious agenda during its recently completed spring meeting. One highlight was to set in motion an internal reorganization of Covenant Offices.
Two key aspects of the proposed revised structure relate to the clustering of ministries and to the expanded composition of the Covenant Offices Leadership Team (COLT). The new design clusters what are currently 17 different departments, offices, and organizations into seven working groups.
The plan also expands participation on COLT, bringing perspective from various levels throughout the organization while also setting benchmarks for ethnic and gender participation.
The new model brings an estimated $500,000 in savings, which allows for both a financially sustainable model as well as the measured ability to initiate new ventures and the building of reserves.
The plan is largely internal to Covenant Offices and does not impact the governance structures of regional conferences or ECC-related institutions. Areas requiring ECC Constitution and By-laws approval will be brought to this June’s Covenant Annual Meeting for briefing, and the 2014 Annual Meeting for final action. Click here for a detailed overview of the reorganization proposal.
In other items of note, the Executive Board:
- Approved nine missionaries for long-term service, to be commissioned during the upcoming Annual Meeting. This is the largest number in recent memory. They include Jared and Hannah Baker, France; Grant and Miho Buchholtz, Japan, and Joel and Kim Delp, Ecuador. There are three additional missionaries that will be serving in areas with security concerns – names are not publicized for security reasons. An additional two individuals have been approved as short-term missionaries, with several more currently completing the approval process.
- Received a financial report indicating a two percent loss on income to expense for fiscal year 2012, equating to a $325,000 shortfall. Even though every department kept expenses under budget, income fell short in church giving while bequests also were below normal levels. The budget for the current fiscal year is being adjusted lower.
- Welcomed Meritt Sawyer as the new executive director of the Paul Carlson Partnership, a ministry working in health and micro-enterprise initiatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It also ratified previous action affirming the nomination of Greg Yee as superintendent of the North Pacific Conference. Updates were given on the search for a new leader of Covenant Communications with the pending retirement of Don Meyer, as well the search for a director in the department of Compassion, Mercy, and Justice. Both searches are expected to conclude this spring.
- Approved drafts of two resolutions for Annual Meeting review, one regarding generosity, and one regarding immigration. These will be posted on the annual meeting website.
The Covenant Executive Board is elected by the Covenant Annual Meeting. It consists of 27 members along with various ex officio and liaison members. It represents the Annual Meeting to provide strategic and financial oversight of the ECC. Sam Chang, member of Parkwood Community Church, serves as chair.