Synod delegates elect new officers to Collegium
Written by Tim Kershner
July 5, 2011

Delegates to the United Church of Christ’s General Synod on Tuesday morning elected three new officers to serve the denomination’s national setting.

The Rev. J. Bennett Guess, the Rev. James Moos and W. Mark Clark each ran unopposed for their positions and were elected by near unanimous majorities.

Guess will be the Executive Minister for Local Church Ministries; Moos, Executive Minister for Wider Church Ministries, and Clark, Associate General Minister. They join General Minister and President the Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, as well as Executive Minister for Justice and Witness Ministries the Rev. M. Linda Jaramillo as part of the church’s Collegium of Officers.

Clark, of Tucson, Ariz., is president and chief executive officer of CODAC Behavioral Health Services, a non-profit managed behavioral health care organization. As a lay member of the church, Clark has served in numerous capacities on the local, regional and national level. He chaired the Southwest Conference Minister Search Committee, served on the Board of Directors of the UCC Office of General Ministries, and served as chair of the Committee of Reference for General Synod 27. Clark replaces the outgoing Associate General Minister Edith A. Guffey.

Guess is currently Director of the UCC Publishing, Identity and Communications unit, and was previously the church’s news director and communications director. Guess was a local parish minister for 12 years, including eight as pastor of Zion UCC, Henderson, Ky. He also helped create the Paff Haus Justice and Peace Center. He fills the unexpired term of the Rev. Stephen L. Sterner.

Edith A. Guffey (at microphone), the Rev. Stephen L. Sterner and the Rev. Cally Rogers-Witte offered prayers for their successors following Tuesday's election of new Collegium members by General Synod delegates. (photo Scott Griessel)

Currently pastor of Bismarck (N.D.) United Church of Christ, Moos has also served as pastor of the Adams County Parish UCC in Hettinger and Reeder, N.D., and had been a chaplain in the Air Force.  Moos currently serves on the UCC Executive Council and is a former member of the church’s Wider Church Ministries Board of Directors and chaired its Finance and Budget Committee. Moos replaces the Rev. Cally Rogers-Witte.

General Synod delegates also elected their moderators for future General Synods, representatives to the Executive Council, and members of the boards of directors of Local Church Ministries, Wider Church Ministries, Justice and Witness Ministries, and the Office of General Ministries. Members were also elected to the General Synod Nominating Committee.

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