From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Self-Development of People Elects Officers
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,"
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 PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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