From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Self-Development of People Elects Officers

Date 04 May 1996 20:49:38


96039       Self-Development of People Elects Officers 
                         by Julian Shipp 
SAN DIEGO--At its Jan. 19-20 meeting here, the National Presbyterian 
Committee on the Self-Development of People (SDOP) elected its chair and 
vice chair, both of whom will serve for a period of  at least one year. 
     Cindy Joe of San Francisco was elected chair. Oscar Heyward of Howard 
Beach, N.Y., was elected vice chair. Both terms will begin in May. 
     A former chair of the General Assembly Committee on Representation, 
Joe is a ruling elder and member of the Presbyterian Church in Chinatown in 
San Francisco. She is the first woman to be chair of the Asian Caucus of 
the National Asian Presbyterian Council and currently serves on the board 
of the Chinese Community Housing Corporation in San Francisco. According to 
Fredric T. Walls, SDOP coordinator, Joe is also the first Asian American 
woman to chair SDOP's National Committee. 
     "I just hope that we can keep the mission of SDOP in the eyes of the 
church so that we can continue to support it," Joe said. "You heard some of 
the comments here that some people think our mission is old hat, but it's 
not old hat to carry out the mission of SDOP and stand in solidarity with 
the foreign and domestic oppressed." 
     Heyward is current chair of SDOP's Northeast Task Force and has served 
on the organization's certification, personnel and review committees.  He 
is a ruling elder at Dunton Presbyterian Church in Queens, New York, and 
served as financial secretary and Nominating Committee chair of his church 
when it called its pastor in 1993. 
     "[SDOP] has been a very positive experience and I hope to use my 
professional background experiences to serve as vice chair of this 
committee in the proper manner as I have in the past," Heyward said. 
     The nomination process was questioned by some committee members after 
it was discovered that Dorothy Loyer, a Presbyterian elder from Eden, 
Colo., who originally was recommended by SDOP's Nominating Committee as 
vice chair, is from the same geographic region as Joe and serves on the 
same task force. 
      Moreover, according to Vertis Shanks, an SDOP Committee member of 
Camden, N.J., the organization's northeast and south regions have lacked 
national-level representation for "at least six years." 
     To reinforce the current nominating process and promote equal 
demographic representation in the future, the committee moved  
        to appoint Nominating Committee members during the national SDOP 
Committee meeting in  September. (Nominating Committee members were 
previously elected in December.) 
       that Nominating Committee members will hold their initial meeting 
       that Nominating Committee members be provided during their initial 
meeting a list of the chairs and vice chairs from the previous nine years, 
including their task force areas and minority status, by the SDOP national 
        that Nominating Committee members be provided with a list of all 
national SDOP Committee members indicating the years of their election and 
whether or not this is their first or second term of office. 
     "I was pleased with [the committee's action] since Joe and I are both 
on the West task force," Loyer said. "And I am pleased over (Heyward's) 
appointment as vice chair."  
     The Rev. Donald A. Visscher, a former SDOP Nominating Committee member 
from Williamsport, Penn., said this will give the nominating committee more 
time to review future nominees and ensure that they receive the critical 
information they need in order to make their recommendations. 
     "This way we'll have all the information we need well in advance," 
Visscher said. 
     Organized after the 181st General Assembly (1969) of the former 
Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, SDOP is a ministry 
that works to empower poor, oppressed and disadvantaged people who are 
seeking to change the structures that perpetuate poverty, oppression, and 
     SDOP receives the majority of its funds from the One Great Hour of 
Sharing offering given annually during Lent by Presbyterians nationwide. 
This ecumenical offering provides SDOP the opportunity to enter into 
partnerships with communities worldwide. It also supports the Presbyterian 
Hunger Program and Presbyterian World Service. 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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