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NCC reshapes itself for 21st century New York, Sept. 27, 2007 Ė The Governing Board of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC), meeting here this week in its regular fall meeting, announced a staff reorganization designed to exercise better stewardship of the funds given by its 35 member communions and associated denominations.
The new structure is reflective of a strategic plan approved by the NCCís General Assembly in 2006 and leaves in place the five commissions that form the basis of the NCCís programmatic work undertaken by the member communions. This work includes ecumenical and interfaith relations, justice and advocacy, communication, education and critical issues in faith and order.
Oversight of the Council's work will now fall to the general secretary, a chief operating officer, three newly created program positions, plus a media specialist, a database manager, and a development director. Fourteen positions will be eliminated, including two deputy general secretaries and six associate general secretaries.
The timing of this decision comes as the NCC is seeking a new general secretary. The reorganization was made necessary by an expected budget shortfall for fiscal year 2008. It also reflected a firm commitment of the Governing Board to operate on available revenues and not draw from the Council's multi-million-dollar financial reserves.
"This new configuration embodies the principles of the strategic plan and creates a more nimble structure for the Council to be responsive to Godís unfolding history in the 21st century," said Clare Chapman, the Councilís Acting General Secretary.
The Governing Board acknowledged that this announcement means a reduction in the scope and breadth of work currently underway. However, confidence was also expressed that this moment represents a unique opportunity for "taking a fresh look" at the way the commissions do their work.
"These cuts are deep and painful, especially given the extraordinary professionalism and dedication of our staff," said the Rev. Michael Livingston, President of the NCC, "but we are committed to operating within budgetary parameters that are realistic. This plan moves us forward toward long-term sustainability so that the important ecumenical witness of the Council can continue well into the future."
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