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Bishop Christopher to lead Connectional Table transition team

July 6, 2004        

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)—Bishop Sharon Brown Christopher, a former president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, has been designated to lead the team that will coordinate the process creating the new Connectional Table to oversee coordination of mission, ministries and resources across the denomination.

The church’s top legislative body, the 2004 General Conference, voted in May to create the Connectional Table to replace another agency, the General Council on Ministries.

The eight-member transition team is balanced between laity and clergy. It includes representation from the U.S. jurisdictional conferences and the overseas central conferences, and reflects the gender and ethnic makeup of the church. The Council of Bishops, the current General Council on Ministries and the Council on Finance and Administration appointed the members.

“We have a unique opportunity to shape the General Conference’s vision for ministry in the 21st century,” Christopher said. “There is much to be done in a short time.”

In addition to Bishop Christopher, of Springfield, Ill., who leads the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference, the transition team includes:

· Bishop John L. Hopkins of Minneapolis, a Council of Bishops appointee;
· Leveeda Morgan Battle of Birmingham, Ala., a General Council on Finance and Administration appointee;
· Mary Hayenga of Andover, S.D., a General Council on Ministries appointee;
· The Rev. Marilynn M. Huntington of Pasadena, Calif., a General Council on Ministries appointee;
· Patrick Streiff of Neuchatel, Switzerland, a Council of Bishops appointee;
· Gerald “Jay” Williams of New York City, a General Council on Ministries appointee; and
· The Rev. J. Philip Wogaman of Washington, D.C., a General Council on Finance and Administration appointee.

Among the transition team’s responsibilities are developing and implementing a plan to convene the Connectional Table and providing for orientation and training. The team also will develop a process to ensure the orderly reassignment of functions and responsibilities from the General Council on Ministries to the Connectional Table.

Transition team members will handle transferring of corporate assets and liabilities to the trustees of the denomination and develop a plan to care for personnel employed by the General Council on Ministries.

The legislation creating the Connectional Table requires the transfer of responsibilities from the General Council on Ministries to the new organization by Jan. 1, 2005, with the General Council on Ministries dissolved on Dec. 1. The work of the transition team may continue into 2005. Christopher said she believes most of the team’s work will be completed soon after the first of the year.

News media contact: Stephen Drachler, Nashville, Tenn. (615) 742-5411 or newsdesk@umcom.org.


 

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