Written by Bennett Guess
Two members of the UCC’s five-person Collegium of Officers have been nominated and affirmed by their respective governing bodies for additional terms in office. However, each decision will need approval from about 900 General Synod delegates, who will gather June 22-26 in Hartford, Conn.
The Rev. Cally Rogers-Witte, executive minister of the UCC’s Wider Church Ministries, was called by election in 2005 to complete the unexpired term of her predecessor, Olivia White.
Rogers-Witte’s nomination to a full four-year term in office was affirmed in April by WCM’s board of directors. By virtue of her WCM post, Rogers-Witte also serves as co-executive of the UCC/Disciples’ Common Global Ministries Board. Prior to joining the national leadership, Rogers-Witte was Southwest Conference Minister and, before that, in a longterm pastorate in North Carolina.
Edith Guffey, the UCC’s associate general minister, was among the initial Collegium members called by election to staggered terms in 1999, as part of the national setting’s restructure process. She is seeking a final four-year term in office, a decision affirmed by the UCC’s executive council in October 2006.
As associate general minister, Guffey is the administrative leader of the Office of General Ministries. Prior to 1999, she was the elected secretary of the church’s national setting.
Rogers-Witte and Guffey will address the General Synod in separate speeches on Monday, June 25. Consideration by delegates will follow. A 60 percent affirmative vote is required.
Coincidentally, June 25 is the birthdate of the UCC, which is celebrating its 50th year. June 25 is also Rogers-Witte’s birthday; she will turn 62. Guffey is 53.
Among the remaining Collegium members, the Rev. John H. Thomas, general minister and president since 1999, has two years left in office and cannot seek reelection. The Rev. José A. Malayang, executive minister of Local Church Ministries, also has two years left in his final term, but announced in February that he would retire this November. Both have served since 1999.
The Rev. Linda Jaramillo, executive minister of Justice and Witness Ministries, was elected to her first four-year term in 2005.