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[PCUSANEWS] Valentine unveils new GAC structure

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Date Fri, 1 Sep 2006 07:52:51 -0400

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06449 August 31, 2006

Valentine unveils new GAC structure

Three deputies, six program directors will be core leadership

by Jerry L. Van Marter

LOUISVILLE * The General Assembly Council (GAC) Executive Committee today endorsed Executive Director Linda Valentine's recommended leadership and organizational structure for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s mission program.

The new structure * which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2007 if the full council approves it at its Sept. 26-30 meeting here * replaces the 13-year-old Ministry Division structure * Congregational Ministries, National Ministries and Worldwide Ministries * with a single mission arm under a Deputy Executive Director for Mission.

The structure also realigns most of the council's non-programmatic "support" functions under a Deputy Executive Director for Shared Services/Chief Financial Officer.

Communication and funds development will be grouped under a Deputy Executive Director for Communication and Funds Development.

An Executive Administrator will oversee a number of other offices related to the Executive Director, including research, cultural proficiency, the advocacy committees for women's and racial ethnic concerns and the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy.

A middle governing body coordinator * a shared position with the Office of the General Assembly * will be retained.

The overhaul of the GAC's programmatic work under a single deputy executive director is the most dramatic aspect of the new structure. Six program directors will oversee the realigned GAC mission program.

Though not formally named yet, the six program areas group the activities like this:

1. Theology, worship, Christian education (includes curriculum publishing) and stewardship;

2. Evangelism, church growth, vocation and leadership;

3. Social justice, peacemaking, and the Presbyterian Washington and United Nations offices;

4. Relief and development (includes national and international health ministries);

5. Worldwide mission in partnership; and

6. Women's and racial ethnic ministries.

The three division directors from the previous structure * CMD's Don Campbell, NMD's Curtis Kearns and WMD's Marian McClure * were among those laid off May 1, effective Oct. 1 * as well as their immediate staff * the day the transition to the new structure begins.

The new alignment means that the jobs of the current 10 programmatic associate directors will also be eliminated, effective Dec. 31. Those associate directors are:

The Rev. Joseph D. Small, Theology and Worship (CMD)

Sara P. Lisherness, Presbyterian Peacemaking Program (CMD)

Sandra A. Moak, Congregational Ministries Publishing (CMD)

The Rev. Marcia Myers, Leadership and Vocation (NMD)

The Rev. James Thomas, Evangelism and Witness (NMD)

Patricia Chapman, Justice and Compassion (NMD)

Mary Elva Smith, Women's Ministries (NMD)

The Rev. Will Browne, Ecumenical Partnership (WMD)

The Rev. Gary Cook, Global Service and Witness (WMD)

People in Mutual Mission, vacant (WMD)

All of those whose positions were eliminated are eligible to apply for positions in the new structure, including Deputy for Mission Support Services Joey Bailey, who's layoff is also effective Oct. 1 . Another senior staffer, Deputy Executive Director Helen Locklear has already begun a new job as a regional representative for the Board of Pensions.

The restructure comes in response to the GAC's decision last April to reorganize both the council and its work in light of the Mission Work Plan and a $9.15 million budget cut that reduced the national staff of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on May 1 by more than 100 positions, including 40 overseas jobs.

Valentine said the net savings resulting from the restructure amount to $665,000.

She said she wants to fill two positions * Executive Administrator and Deputy Executive Director for Shared Services * as soon as possible, certainly by Oct. 1. The other positions * Deputy Executive Director for Communication and Funds Development and Deputy Executive Director for Mission * will be filled between the GAC meeting and the end of the year. Program directors will be hired after the mission deputy has been hired.

Valentine has created two transition teams:

A "transition management team" will provide management leadership until the new top staff positions have been filled. Members of that team are Lisherness, Cook, Chapman, Associate Peggie Blenman of Human Resources and Barry Creech of the Office of Communication.

An "organization transition team" will plan the details of the new organizational structure, coordinate its implementation and develop a process for planning and measuring the GAC's goals and objectives. Members of the team have not been appointed yet.

As Creech put it: "The management team will steer the boat across the river between October and January and the organization team will already be over there building the place we're going to live in once we get there on January 1."


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