At this past Annual Meeting delegates passed a major reorganization plan that is now in effect. The streamlined structure puts cost-effective focus on ministry areas based on the five mission priorities: Start and Strengthen Churches; Make and Deepen Disciples; Develop Leaders; Love Mercy and Do Justice; and Serve Globally. Those priorities are undergirded by four support areas: Finance, Communication, Operations, and Advancement.
Each area is led by an executive. Together, these leaders comprise what we call Covenant Offices Leadership Team (COLT). Additionally, there are three at-large members from among the whole Covenant Offices employee team. I count on COLT to serve with me to help guide and implement our mission. Here are those serving you:
Start and Strengthen Churches: Dick Lucco. Dick’s team works with church planting and congregational vitality, working closely with our eleven regional conferences to start new churches and work to help strengthen congregations.
Make and Deepen Disciples: Evelyn Johnson. This team weaves together evangelism resources along with discipleship initiatives, age-group resources (including this year our national youth conference CHIC), and resources for women’s ministries.
Develop Leaders: Mark Novak. Mark heads up Ordered Ministry (which invests in the personal and professional development of clergy while also giving oversight to all matters of credentialing), and will be integral to the development of a Center for Leadership (enhancing lay leadership offerings as well as clergy opportunities).
Love Mercy and Do Justice: Debbie Blue. Debbie’s team helps us live into our value of “joining God in making things right in the world.” They do this through developing resources (such as the recent Annual Meeting resolution on immigration); supporting congregations in developing ministries; and offering cross-cultural awareness experiences.
Serve Globally: Curt Peterson. This area encompasses our international initiatives including Covenant World Mission, Covenant World Relief, and Paul Carlson Partnership. This area comprises more than 60 percent of our mission and ministry budget with ministries in nearly fifty countries of 5the world.
Finance: Paul Hawkinson. Paul’s team directs budgeting, the Business Office, Covenant Pensions, and Bethany Benefit Service (our comprehensive medical insurance plan).
Communication: Ed Gilbreath. The communication team oversees the Companion, website, video pieces, live-streaming of events, graphic design center, bookstore, and other print and digital resources.
Operations: Rebecca Gonzalez. Operations give leadership to human resources, information technology, governance, and building services.
Advancement: Cynthia Halverson. Advancement works to deepen the partnership between the Covenant and individuals in particular. Thousands of people each year partner financially with our mission. We could not make the difference we are making without generous and sacrificial Covenanters.
At-large: Aune Carlson. Aune is the team leader for young adult ministries in the Make and Deepen Disciples area, mobilizing a variety of discipleship experiences.
At-large: Steve Dawson. Steve is president of National Covenant Properties, which provides loans to local churches for building programs, and savings and investment opportunities for Covenanters and Covenant institutions.
At-large: John Teter. John serves with the Start and Strengthen Churches group as team leader for church planting. He is also pastor of Fountain of Life Covenant Church in Long Beach, California.
At-large: Cecilia Williams. Cecilia is on the Love Mercy and Do Justice team, giving leadership to mobilizing and supporting congregational initiatives.
In meetings I often find myself looking around gratefully at this group, thinking, “These colleagues embody exactly what Covenanters would hope is true of their leaders.” I am thankful to serve with a team who, to a person, are spiritually minded, mission-focused, capable, and committed. We are blessed as a movement. Pray for us.