Written by Gregg Brekke
Search committees for the available executive minister positions in Wider Church Ministries and Local Church Ministries have announced nominees for these offices. Pending approval at their respective spring board meetings, nominees will be presented for election by delegates at the UCC's 2011 General Synod to be held in Tampa, Fla., June 30 - July 5.
An announcement for the available associate general minister position is expected shortly.
The Rev. Cally Rogers-Witte, Wider Church Ministries, and the Rev. Stephen Sterner, Local Church Ministries, are not seeking additional terms for their respective executive minister positions. Edith Guffey, current associate general minister, has served her term limits and is ineligible for re-election.
The Wider Church Ministries executive minister search committee has nominated the Rev. James Moos, Senior Pastor of Bismarck United Church of Christ, to lead Wider Church Ministries, serve as one of the newest members of the United Church of Christ five-member Collegium of Officers, and as Co-Executive of the Common Global Ministries Board.
Jim is currently a member of the UCC Executive Council and former chair of the Executive Council. He is a past member of the Wider Church Ministries Board of Directors and chaired its finance and budget committee while serving on the board.
Jim has been deeply engaged with Global Ministries in support of its partnership with the Protestant Church in East Timor. He brings experience in administration and finance, a commitment to the prophetic witness of the United Church of Christ, a passion for connecting local churches to the global body of Christ, and an understanding of the collegial and ecumenical nature of serving as Executive Minister of Wider Church Ministries and Co-Executive of the Common Global Ministries Board.
The WCM search committee thanked board members, staff of Wider Church Ministries and the Common Global Ministries Board, mission personnel and others for sharing in their process of discernment.
Wider Church Ministries search committee members are Barbara Kershner Daniel (chair), Angela Menke Ballou, Geoffrey Black, William E. Clarke III, Robert Craig, Shernell Edney, Patsy A. Harris, Linda McCrae, Oliver W. Martin III, Rich Pleva, Bing Tso and Jeanne Tyler.
The Local Church Ministries Executive Minister search committee has nominated the Rev. J. Bennett Guess, the UCC's Director of Publishing, Identity and Communication, to serve as LCM's Executive Minister and as a member of the United Church of Christ's five-member Collegium of Officers.
Prior to joining the UCC's national staff more than 10 years ago, Ben served as a local church pastor for 12 years. While at Zion UCC in Henderson, Ky., he led the congregation through a period of significant growth and courageous prophetic witness, earning him recognition with the Just Peace Award presented at the 1997 General Synod.
With graduate education in both religion and public administration, Ben brings knowledge and experience in management, budgeting and programmatic planning. Ben offers visionary, creative and collaborative-styled leadership during a time of sweeping change for every setting of our church, especially our local congregations.
The LCM search committee extended gratitude to board members, national staff and others for walking with them in their discernment process.
Local Church Ministries search committee members are Carol Williams-Swoope (chair), Diane Bennekamper, Geoffrey Black, Susannah Davis, Tim Downs, Hal Drury, Rosa Frias, Trinaka Jamison-Finger, Richard Kamanu, Herbert Perkins, Kevin Peterson and Sharyl Peterson.