Saturday, February 14, 2015

Rev. John Dorhauer: UCC's New General Minister & President

We learned yesterday that the United Church of Christ has announced it's 9th General Minister and President. Rev. John C. Dorhauer is currently the conference minister for the Southwest Conference of the UCC and has been chosen by the denomination's search committee.

That said, his appointment isn't yet a done deal:
Dorhauer’s candidacy must be confirmed first by the United Church of Christ Board of Directors by a two-thirds vote at its upcoming meeting March 19, then by the delegates of the 30th General Synod, meeting in Cleveland June 26-30, with a 60-percent majority.

The 18-member search committee spent four-and-a-half months on the process to identify a candidate for the next general minister and president. They were seeking a leader who is "a person of faith, an articulate and theologically-grounded preacher and speaker, and an innovator who leads with clarity and purpose" to act as CEO and chief spokesperson of the UCC. Dorhauer would be charged with preparing the denomination for the future by planning, coordinating and implementing the mission of the church.

"The committee made its decision after careful prayer and intentional deliberation over the past months," said the Rev. Bernard R. Wilson, co-chair of the search committee and chair of the UCC Board of Directors. "We are enthusiastic about his recommendation."

Friday's announcement concludes a search process set in motion in mid-August, when current General Minister and President the Rev. Geoffrey A. Black announced his plans to retire at the conclusion of General Synod.
I had forgotten about Rev. Black's retirement plans. I'm actually surprised that I didn't blog about it back in August.

I remember Rev. Dorhauer from year's back when he was blogging and promoting his book, Steeplejacking: How the Christian Rights is Hijacking Mainstream Religion. That book and his dialogues surrounding those issues didn't endear him to this crowd, which might create some tension when it comes to confirming his position. I've also read some general complaints that it would have been nice to finally have a UCC General Minister who is a woman and/or someone in the LGBT spectrum.

I'm pretty excited about this announcement and hopes that he gets the job. Good luck, John!

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