After nearly two years of collective leadership by the WCRC executive secretaries through the Collegial General Secretariat (CGS), the WCRC Executive Committee has decided to appoint an acting general secretary to serve through the 2025 General Council.
The decision came after a select committee tasked with exploring sustainability, leadership, and engagement issues recommended the change. While noting with appreciation the work done by the CGS, the committee concluded it was time “to enhance management, accountability, and capacity at all levels.”
“The office was able to run with good programmes under the leadership of the CGS. New programmes were engaged in, funds were raised for them, and relationships with member churches strengthened,” the report from the committee stated. “It is appreciated what the CGS and the executive staff who constitute the CGS have done. They did this literally working 150%. They had their programmes and operations which they were fully doing and in addition, had the general secretary’s responsibilities.”
President Najla Kassab agreed. The CGS “has helped the Communion face the challenge of leading the Communion in the absence of a general secretary, empowered the programme work at the Communion, and created a collegial spirit of sharing responsibilities,” she said in her address to the Executive Committee.
The select committee has evaluated “the leadership model that will help us discern how we will move forward in leading the Communion to the 2025 General Council,” Kassab said.
After discernment and discussion, the Executive acted on a recommendation from the committee and agreed to discontinue the CGS and appoint an acting general secretary to guide the Communion through the Council.
A special committee has been named to “recommend through interview” a candidate. All four executive secretaries will be interviewed for the position, along with invited “veteran church leaders with full familiarity with the work of WCRC and with proven success in leading organizations, raising funds, and supervising a multicultural team.”
Once a candidate is selected, the Executive Committee will meet in an extraordinary virtual meeting to vote on the nominee. At that same meeting, the Officers’ Committee will bring a proposal “to ensure communications continues upon the completion of the current communications executive’s term in 2024.”
The CGS will continue to fulfil its responsibilities until the acting general secretary takes office.