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Governance Task Force issues invitation

Group seeks common ground for a mutually agreeable and faithful way forward

by Melody K. Smith | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE – Representatives of the Governance Task Force (GTF) of the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA), the Way Forward Commission (WFC), and the All Agency Review Committee (AARC) are meeting in early April for continuing conversations in hopes of finding common ground.

The GTF also invited Presbyterian advisory and advocacy committees and others to attend the meeting and to designate one person from each of these organizations to be active participants in the conversation, which will take place April 8–9, 2018, in Louisville, Kentucky. All have committed to sending a representative to the meeting.

The other invited organizations include: Presbyterian Women, the Advocacy Committee for Racial Ethnic Concerns (ACREC), the Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns (ACWC), the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP), and the Committee of the General Assembly (COGA).

The GTF is working to clarify the context underlying the questions to be addressed during this time together. Those will be submitted to WFC and AARC to ensure that the questions and the context in which they are asked are helpful to the conversation. The questions will then be sent to all of the invited participants prior to the meeting.

The GTF initiated this meeting, as outlined in the invitation below, to enable a way forward for the sake of the church and Christ’s mission.

The full text of the invitation:

The Governance Task Force (GTF) of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board of Directors (PMAB), after consultation with the Way Forward Commission (WFC) and the All Agency Review Committee (AAR), invites you to join us in a conversation with representatives of the GTF, WFC and AAR.  The purpose of this conversation is to discuss the recommendations of the PMAB, WFC and AAR that have been submitted to the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for consideration by the 223rd General Assembly.

It is our belief that if the PMAB/GTF more fully understood the concerns which have precipitated WFC/AARs recommendations and WFC/AAR could similarly understand PMAB/GTFs concerns which have precipitated our recommendations to the 223rd General Assembly – in addition to hearing directly from the Advocacy and Advisory Committees, Presbyterian Women and COGA regarding their concerns or affirmations of any or all of these recommendations – together we might be able to find common ground that will enable us to come together with a mutually agreeable and faithful new way forward for the sake of the church and Christ’s mission.

The meeting will begin on the afternoon of Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 2:00 PM and conclude on Monday, April 9, 2018 at 5:00 PM. We ask that you identify one individual from your committee who will be the official participant in that conversation. Of course, if others wish to observe the meeting, such observers are certainly welcomed to be present.

We will provide lunch on Monday and make the lodging arrangements. If, however, your committee is unable to send a representative to this conversation because of the costs of transportation and lodging, please let us know so that we may make appropriate arrangements.

In any event, please let me know no later than this Friday, March 23, 2018, whether you will be sending a person to participate in the conversation. We are holding a block of rooms and a meeting space, but cannot finalize those arrangements until we have notice that you plan to be represented at the table. The name of the particular person needs to be sent to us no later than March 26, 2018.

Finally, please know that we are working on a set of topics/questions with WFC/AAR and we hope to finalize those this Friday, March 23, 2018. If you have a particular question(s) or general topic(s) you wish addressed, please get those to Conrad Rocha at no later than Thursday, March 22, 2018.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Justice & Peace,

Conrad M. Rocha, Co-Chair, Governance Task Force
Melinda L. Sanders, Co-Chair, Governance Task Force


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