Southern Province Mission Office Closure

The letter below was sent out to Southern Province Congregations via email on Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

Greetings to the members and congregations of the Southern Province,

This message is to inform congregations of a joint decision by the Board of World Mission and Southern Province Mission Society to close the physical mission office in Old Salem, effective December 31, 2020.

The decision reflects the current reality that following September 1st, no staff are currently in place to be present in the office. The COVID-19 situation has delayed any plans for hiring a new Director of Mission Outreach by the Board of World Mission, as this person would not be able to travel to visit our global partners, which certainly would be a large part of their role.

Additionally, COVID-19 may require our offices to not allow visitors for the foreseeable future, which would limit our ability to connect with individuals as has been the case from this physical office space.

It is important to state that the BWM and SP Mission Society value our partnership in mission ministry. The closure of the office does not indicate any desire to weaken our partnership. We have remained in close contact throughout this process to ensure a shared process. Even without the shared physical office, BWM and the SP Mission Society will continue our strong partnership. It is helpful to have three board members who sit on both the Mission Society Board and BWM. This allows for regular communication between our organizations as we do our work.

The BWM and SP Mission Society remain fully committed to its work in the Southern Province, and all of the partnerships developed with ministries facilitated from the Southern Province as well.

From a physical office standpoint, the BWM hopes to model the work of other interprovincial agencies that also only have one physical office while serving the NP and the SP, like the IBOC (Bethlehem) and MMFA (Winston-Salem).

From a staffing standpoint, the BWM will be hiring to fill out our staff. The timing of this hire is being discerned, but will occur. Similarly, the SP Mission Society is exploring the best options for fulfilling its staffing and administrative office needs.

Thank you for your ongoing support of our shared mission work, and we welcome opportunities to continue to work closely with you all, and look forward to any conversations or invitations to move ahead on mission initiatives.
Justin Rabbach                                             Rev. Bob Peterson
Executive Director                                        President
Board of World Mission                              Southern Province Mission Society