Both the Southern Province (SP), and soon the Northern Province (NP) are being asked to approve revisions to the Board of World Mission constitution. The Alaska Province and the Unity of the Brethren, official members of the BWM, will also need to ratify the proposed amendments.
Much of the work of the BWM has changed since earlier versions of the constitution were enacted, so simple wording edits and changes in mission oversight roles have been proposed. Two additional revisions increase the voices sitting at the table in order to facilitate a broader understanding of the complex issues that often come before the board.
The BWM consists of 12 elected directors, including the Northern Province and Southern Province PEC presidents, along with two board-appointed delegates. The board-appointed delegates give the board the opportunity to ask people with a particular gift or needed perspective to serve. For example, this allowed the BWM to have a youth representative and a person with more cross-cultural background on the board. The proposed constitution changes allow the BWM to appoint up to four delegates if such a need is perceived. It also limits these appointments to two terms of four years each, something that has not been in place.
Another helpful change is to define a role for affiliate membership. We currently have a member from the Eastern-West Indies Province attending our board meetings, bringing a broader perspective of mission efforts in our global provinces. The Jamaica Province is also interested in partnering with us in mission. Affiliate membership will allow opportunities to build these relationships.
All proposed changes to the BWM Constitution were approved by the Southern Province Synod; a resolution has also been submitted for the Northern Province Synod in June.
Judy Ganz is executive director of the Board of World Mission.