(By Leslie Scanlon, The Presbyterian Outlook). The All Agency Review Committee and the Way Forward Commission have jointly decided not to recommend a merger of the Office of the General Assembly and the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
The All Agency Review Committee announced that decision Aug. 21, following a two-hour closed session.
Both the Way Forward Commission and All Agency Review held closed sessions during their most recent meetings to discuss personnel matters.
After the Way Forward’s closed session Aug. 9, moderator Mark Hostetter said the commission had taken the following action: “The Commission empowers the Way Forward–All Agency Review coordination committee to create a joint WFC-AAR joint statement regarding a PMA-OGA matter.” No details were given, but the announcement today clarifies what was involved.
Deborah Block, moderator of the All Agency Review Committee, said one reason was a “concern for the level of anxiety” such a merger might bring. The decision is being announced now, she said, because a search is ongoing for a new executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, so the decision may bring “some clarity about what the job of that person will be.”
Tony De La Rosa is sent to end his term as interim executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency at the end of November.
Block’s comments came after the decision had been made in closed session to approve the recommendation. There essentially was no public discussion of the proposal, with both groups citing personnel issues.