Black, Native American, Asian missioners leaving Church Center staff

November 5, 2002

The Rev. Lynn Collins, missioner for Black and Urban Ministries, and the Rev. John Robertson, missioner for Native American Ministries, will conclude their work at the Episcopal Church Center by the end of 2002. The announcement was made November 5 by Pat Mordecai, chief operating officer and assistant to the presiding bishop for administration.

'[L]ast February the decision was made to begin a search for a Director of Ethnic Congregational Development and the ethnic missioners were informed at that time that their positions as presently configured were to end as soon as we had named the director of the department,' Mordecai said. 'They were also told that the new positions would have a much stronger focus on growing and developing congregations, while maintaining the advocacy role so important within these communities.

'Because we have not had success as yet in naming a Director of Ethnic Congregational Development, we believe now eight months later that it is important to begin the process of transition and for some of the ethnic ministries staff to bring closure to their work as presently constituted.

'Early in the new year, we will begin a search process for filling the new positions in Ethnic Congregational Development, and we will continue in our search for a director,' the statement concluded. 'In the meantime, we hope to name an Acting Director of Ethnic Congregational Development in the near future.'

Mordecai said the church center is 'very grateful' to Collins and Robertson for 'their years of service and contributions to the life of this organization, our ethnic communities, and the church at large.'

On November 1, Mordecai announced the retirement of the Rev. Winston Ching, missioner for Asian Ministries, after 29 years at the Church Center, calling it 'a remarkable accomplishment.'

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