Written by Gregg Brekke
The Rev. J. Bennett Guess, the Rev. James Moos and Mr. W. Mark Clark will be installed as members of the five-person United Church of Christ Collegium of Officers at Pilgrim UCC in Cleveland on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 2 p.m.
Following their elections at the United Church of Christ's 28th General Synod held in Tampa, Fla., July 1-5, 2011, the three will be received in a service that is a formal, and spiritual, recognition of the gifts a person brings to a given ministry, and an affirmation of the convenental relationship that exists between those serving and those being served.
Guess is 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 is the former president and chief executive officer of CODAC Behavioral HealthServices, a nonprofit managed behavioral health care organization in Tucson, Ariz. As a lay member of the church, Clark has served in numerous capacities on the local, regional and national level. He chaired the UCC’s 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 succeeded the outgoing Associate General Minister Edith A. Guffey in October.
Guess was previously Director of the UCC Publishing, Identity and Communication Ministry, and also served as the church’s news director. Guess was a local parish minister for 12 years, including eight as pastor of Zion UCC in Henderson, Ky. He also helped create the Paff Haus Justice and Peace Center. He filled the unexpired term of the Rev. Stephen L. Sterner in August.
Moos came to his national position after serving as pastor of Bismarck (N.D.) United Church of Christ and the Adams County Parish UCC in Hettinger and Reeder, N.D. He is a former Air Force chaplain and former member of the UCC Executive Council and Wider Church Ministries Board of Directors, where he chaired its Finance and Budget Committee. Moos follows the Rev. Cally Rogers-Witte, who retired July 31.
The service of installation comes as the UCC's joint boards wrap up their annual meeting. It also follows the completion of the UCC's Mission:1 campaign where during the first 11 days of Nov. 1-11, the denomination sought to collect more than 1 million food and household items for local food banks –– a goal reached on Nov. 10 –– as well as $111,111 in online donations for hunger-related ministries and $111,111 in online donations for East Africa famine relief. The UCC also asked its 5,300 congregations to advocate for hunger-related causes worldwide via 11,111 letters to Congress; by Nov. 9 that goal had been doubled.