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Moving forward by looking back

Moving Forward Implementation Commission to meet in person beginning Monday

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

The Moving Forward Implementation Commission was appointed to ensure mandates of the 223rd General Assembly are carried out.

LOUISVILLE — Looking ahead during a Thursday conference call to their in-person meeting in Louisville Monday and Tuesday, members of the Moving Forward Implementation Commission on Thursday took a look back to see how they got where they’re at.

The commission has a number of mandates from last year’s 223rd General Assembly. Among them:

  • Ensure compliance and implementation of the assembly’s action on recommendations from the 2016 Way Forward Commission and the 2016 All-Agency Review Committee.
  • Ensure continued implementation of collaborations and commission administrative actions are underway as outlined in the reports of the Way Forward Commission and All-Agency Review Committee.
  • Coordinate with the 2020 Vision Team.
  • Report findings and make recommendations to the 224th General Assembly in 2020.
  • Direct an evaluation of Shared Services and report to the 224th General Assembly.

“The work is overwhelming,” said Marco Grimaldo, the commission’s co-chair, who was previously a member of the All Agency Review Committee. “The only way we will succeed is if we recognize the gifts we bring and use them together.”

Mathew Eardley, who was on the Way Forward Commission, outlined aspects of that commission’s experience that could inform the work of the Moving Forward Implementation Commission. Those keys include:

  • The importance of engagement. “We have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time,” he said. “It’s important for us to commit our full selves” as well as ensure the commission is engaged with other task forces that have been created, as well as stakeholders.
  • A focus on relationship building. He called that “crucial” during the Way Forward Commission’s work, “and it will be important in this process.”
  • A “divide and conquer” approach. Way Forward Commission members divided into subgroups based on their skills and interests, which “allowed us to be flexible,” he said.
  • Frequent communication, especially as Moving Forward Implementation Commission subgroups begin taking up their tasks. That way, he said, “no one is left in the dust.”

Commission members spent part of their hour-long call determining who they’d like to hear from during next week’s meeting. Among them: Shared Services, Translation Services and denominational communicators.

Commission member Eric Beene, who previously was on the All Agency Review Committee, said that committee’s go-slow approach “at the beginning was frustrating for many of us. But in the end, we were grateful we had slowed down. We articulated our charge really clearly, and trust and solid relationships resulted.”

The proof that the previous approach worked? More than 90 percent of the commissioners to the 223rd General Assembly approved the committee’s recommendations.

“The General Assembly as a whole was overwhelmingly supportive, which was gratifying,” Beene said.


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