(By Leslie Scanlon, The Presbyterian Outlook). The Presbyterian Mission Agency Board is considering an approach that would reduce the size of the board by more than half – and would cut formal representation on the board from advocacy and advisory committees in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
The proposal – being described as a white paper – comes from the board’s Governance Task Force, and is expected to go to the Way Forward Commission for consideration on its Feb. 7 conference call. The board’s executive committee discussed it in a conference call Jan. 26.
The proposal calls for the size of the board to drop from its current size of 40 voting members and 17 nonvoting members (with voice but not vote) to a board with 16 voting members and 8 nonvoting members. The change would need approval from the General Assembly – or possibly from the Way Forward Commission instead, which has the power not just to recommend but to act.
Among the groups that would lose non-voting slots on the board, if the proposal is approved, are ecumenical advisory members and representatives of the:
- Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy;
- Advocacy Committee for Racial Ethnic Concerns;
- Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns;
- Committee on Theological Education.
The Governance Task Force, in making the recommendation, cites the 2016 report of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Review Committee, which stated that a board of 57 members and its current structure is “unwieldy and outdated.”
It proposes a new board structure described as being “nimble, responsive and focused.”