Seven current Episcopal Church Center employees have been named to lead program-based "mission teams" housed in a new Department of Mission.
An announcement from the Office of Public Affairs said that the new department and teams represent a staff reconfiguration necessitated after the General Convention approved a $141 million budget for 2010-2012 that was $23 million less than the current plan. Approximately 40 staff positions were either eliminated or reduced.
The teams and leaders are:
- Diocesan and Congregational Ministries -- the Rev. Bob Honeychurch (currently program officer for congregational vitality)
- Diversity, Social and Environmental Ministries -- Sarah Eagle Heart (currently program officer for Native American ministries)
- Episcopal Migration Ministries -- Deborah Stein (currently Episcopal Migration Ministries director)
- Federal Ministries -- Bishop George Packard (currently bishop suffragan for federal ministries)
- Global Partnerships -- Canon Margaret Larom (currently interim director and program officer for international justice and peacemaking)
- Government Advocacy for Peace and Justice -- Alex Baumgarten (currently interim director of the Office of Government Relations and international policy analyst)
- Lifelong Christian Formation and Vocation -- Bronwyn Clark Skov (currently program officer for lifelong Christian formation and youth)
The public affairs announcement said the reconfiguration "continues to move into its new strategic model emphasizing project-based goal-oriented mission and ministry."
This new structure is different from the reorganization that occurred in September 2007 and had been called for by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. That reorganization created four "centers for mission," including an Advocacy Center, Evangelism and Congregational Life Center, Mission Leadership Center, and Partnerships Center. Those centers will no longer exist under the new reconfiguration.
In announcing the appointments, Church Center employees Antoinette (Toni) Daniels and the Rev. Margaret R. Rose, who will be directors of the Department of Mission, said that the mission teams "will carry out the core message of the team."
"Each team will have a unique way of working, depending on the nature of its ministry yet all will work according to the same guiding principles which are currently in process," they said.
Additionally, they said, there will be "cross-team project groups" composed of members of various teams (along with others as appropriate) who come together to complete a task. "New projects will begin and end throughout the triennium consistently bringing together colleagues to combine their talents," they said.
The team leaders accepted the leadership roles for an initial commitment of 18 months, after which an evaluation of this new approach will occur, according to the announcement. Packard is due to retire May 31, 2010 and a successor will be chosen.