The ELCA Church Council affirmed on Oct. 8 the concept of a redesign of the churchwide organization in 2011, Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson said in an Oct. 11 announcement to staff.
The action means the 358-member churchwide staff — including 270 at church offices in Chicago — will decrease by approximately 65 employees or 60 full-time equivalents, Hanson said.
Additional action regarding the restructuring will be considered by the Church Council at its Nov. 12-14 meeting and by the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August 2011.
Hanson appointed a seven-member design team in June to evaluate and propose the structure changes in light of "the resources available to the churchwide organization."
Mission support from congregations through synods to the churchwide organization stood at $65.3 million two years ago and the design team estimated such income at $45 million to $48 million annually for the next three years, Hanson said.
There will now be three churchwide units and three offices (presiding bishop, secretary and treasurer), he said. Separately incorporated ministries continue. The units will be known as Congregational and Synodical Mission, Global Mission and Mission Advancement, which will oversee the work of The Lutheran.
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