|Agency reorganization eliminates five positions|
Oct. 12, 2009 | WASHINGTON (UMNS)
The United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race has announced a restructuring plan that eliminates five executive positions, resulting in the layoff of nearly 60 percent of the small agency’s staff.
The layoffs will be effective Dec. 10, according to a news release posted Oct. 12 on the agency’s Web site.
Erin Hawkins, chief executive, said six new positions are being developed that will have a different emphasis than the positions being eliminated, and they will be at lower salary levels, resulting in a significant cost savings. Employees whose jobs are eliminated will be eligible to apply for new jobs.
The agency’s budget is based on remittances to the World Service Fund. Those remittances have been less than anticipated, resulting in a budgetary shortfall. Other church agencies, including United Methodist Communications and the boards of Discipleship and Global Ministries, have also restructured in the past year.
“By restructuring our agency, we hope to move our mission closer to the needs of the local church, while still serving as a voice of challenge and encouragement in connectional matters,” Hawkins said. “Our goal is also to work more effectively in a multicultural, intergenerational and global context.
“While it is difficult to make decisions that affect employees’ livelihood—especially in these challenging economic times—it is necessary for us to change our direction in order to engage the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world with greater relevance and effectiveness,” she said.
The five staff people affected and the constituencies they have worked with are the Rev. Barbara R.I. Isaacs, white, anti-racism concerns; Jeneane Jones, black, public media relations; Kathleen Thomas-Sano, Asian American/Pacific Islander; the Rev. Eliezer Valentín-Castañón, Hispanic/Latino; and Suanne Ware-Diaz, Native American.
The commission was established in 1968 to challenge the denomination’s agencies, institutions, regional conferences and congregations to achieve full participation of racial and ethnic minority people.
News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race
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