The Reverend Bruce Reyes-Chow, moderator of the 218th General Assembly (2008) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), continued naming special committees and task forces on Tuesday, as directed by last year’s assembly.

The latest group to be named by the moderator is the Climate for Change Task Force. The assembly has instructed this task force to “review the current Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity (AA/EEO), contracting and purchasing policies, and recommend revisions.”

Specific areas mentioned in the assembly’s instructions to the task force: “Update churchwide AA/EEO policies to reflect the church’s commitment to using the tools of cultural proficiency for organizational change; provide guidance and standards for consistent application of the Minority Vendor Policy in the six corporate entities related to the General Assembly; in consultation with staff, develop new guidelines and procedures to be used in lieu of services formerly provided by Project Equality; and revise and update AA/EEO and Minority Vendor policies to reflect changes in the agencies related to the General Assembly and the changing business environment created by emerging technology.”

The assembly directed that “the task force shall be staffed by the Racial Ethnic and Women’s Ministry (GAC), in consultation with the associate for Cultural Proficiency and the manager for Purchasing, and consult with representatives of the six corporate entities related to the General Assembly, as appropriate.”

The task force is scheduled to make an interim report to the 219th General Assembly (2010) and submit its final report to the 220th assembly in 2012. 

Reyes-Chow appointed individuals to the task force in consultation with the Advocacy Committee for Racial Ethnic Concerns, the Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns, the associate for Cultural Proficiency, and the General Assembly Nominating Committee.

The eight members of the Climate for Change Task Force are elders Colby Nickolas Anderson (Minnesota Valleys Presbytery) and Yvonne Armstrong (New York City Presbytery), and the Reverends Catherine Chang (Philadelphia Presbytery), Hardy H. Kim (Greater Atlanta Presbytery), Albert F. Masters, III (Foothills Presbytery), Diane Givens Moffett (Salem Presbytery), Sarah Moore-Nokes (Winnebago Presbytery), and Jose Olagues (Grand Canyon Presbytery).

Moffett will serve as chairperson of the task force.

This brings to four the number of special committees and task forces named by Reyes-Chow. Announcements are expected soon for the two remaining committees, one on the Belhar Confession and the other on youth ministry.

Earlier, Reyes-Chow posted a video clip on his blog, in which he commented about the selection process to fill these special committees and task forces.

In the clip, he explained that he had extended an “open invitation to submit names — promising to select people that I believed could bring passion, thought, intellect, experience, foresight, and vision” to the task.

Reyes-Chow said, “Those who have been chosen have a deep commitment to the church, a deep love for Christ, and are seeking and yearning for a way to be church in new and discerning ways.”

He continued, “We owe our deepest gratitude to those who have accepted this calling — the privilege and responsibility of serving on task forces and study groups at the General Assembly level of our denomination.”