The Board of Directors of Lutherans Concerned has accepted the resignations of five voting members of the board and the non-voting chaplain, and has begun the process to replace them with Lutherans equally committed to the goals, vision, values and mission of the organization.
After a year of service together as officers of the LC/NA board of directors, on Wednesday, June 15, four voting members to the board, as well as the chaplain, resigned. Those resigning were Co-Chair Len Weiser, serving his fifth term; Co-Chair Karen Jolly, joining the board last summer after lengthy service as Region 1 Co-Regional Coordinator; Treasurer Jim Morrell, serving his first term; Vice-Chair Development Jane Austin, new to the board beginning last July; and Chaplain Rachel Mithelman, serving her second term as non-voting chaplain to the board. Subsequently, on June 19, Youth Representative Rachel Nelson, serving her first term, resigned from the board.
The board accepted these resignations with respect and thankfulness for the dedication and service each of these members has given to the organization.
These transitions stem from months of diligent internal discussions regarding a variety of issues including finance, the role of the board in development and fundraising, leadership styles, scheduling and time constraints, accountability, and board/staff relationships.
The board appointed Nicole Garcia, Secretary of the Board, as interim chair, and Phil Soucy, Director of Communications, as interim treasurer until the Leadership Development Committee (formerly the Nominating Committee) can make its recommendations to the board. The committee is working to develop a slate of new members which will be presented to the board this week. The bylaws of LC/NA permit the board to select members to the board for vacancies that occur during a term of office. A further announcement will be made when new members of the board have been chosen.
Nicole Garcia, Interim Chair, said, “We have come through a difficult period, and there are clearly challenges before us. But we are equal to those. LC/NA is and will continue to be the leader in a ministry which welcomes all people to God’s table. I am grateful for the role models whom I follow and pray to my Lord, Jesus Christ, for the courage, strength, and wisdom to lead this incredible organization.”
The organization has a leadership capacity grant which includes moneys for a variety of board and staff consultants and coaches who have been working with the officers, board and staff throughout this period of conversation and discernment. These consultants will continue to work with the board and staff through the transition.
This is an internal board matter. None of the day to day operations of LC/NA has been disrupted by these departures. The mission, values, goals, and ongoing activities of LC/NA are unaffected. LC/NA’s advocacy, education, resource development, and progress towards full participation continue unabated. Preparations for the WELCA Triennial, ELCIC National Convention, the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August, and our biennial assembly, Reconciling Works, July 6-10, 2012, continue.
Despite the continued stresses of the current economy, the financial condition of LC/NA is improving. A comprehensive rolling 90-day development plan is in progress, showing considerable results in the last 30 days. Executive Director Emily Eastwood said, “It has been such a joy for me to meet with new and established donors who share our excitement for the role of LC/NA in the post-policy-change environment. Our cultural and denominational contexts are changing rather rapidly. Donors want to be kept abreast of our activities, and more, they want to participate.
Members and contacts of LC/NA should expect additional and increased communication from the board and staff during the weeks and months ahead as strategic planning and board/staff development continue.
As these are exciting and naturally somewhat stressful times, we request your continued support and prayers.