In today's Disciples e-newsletter comes word that probably shouldn't be too surprising -- a Disciple --- this time not Michael Kinnamon, but Dick Hamm, our former General Minister, has been named the first executive director of Christian Churches Together. This is a bit of pride of course, but Disciples have always been at the forefront of ecumenical endeavors, from the Federal Council of Churches to Christian Churches Uniting in Christ.
Here's the announcement:
May 18, 2007
Christian Churches Together in the USA (CCT) announces the appointment of the Rev. Dr Richard L. Hamm to the position of Executive Administrator. Following a national search, the Steering Committee, meeting in Chicago on May 15-16, took the unanimous decision to appoint Hamm to CCT’s first full time staff position.
Welcoming the appointment, the Very Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky, Ecumenical Officer for the Orthodox Church in America and one of five CCT Presidents, noted that it was his conviction that “Dick Hamm brings to Christian Churches Together in the USA deep Christian faith, theological and spiritual grounding, leadership experience at the national level, sensitivity to the concerns of congregations and local Christian communities, and a wide range of ecumenical contacts and relationships. We are fortunate to have him!”
Dr Hamm is Founding Partner and President of The Columbia Partnership, an organization that provides coaching and consulting training and services; he previously served as General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ in the US and Canada) for ten years. According to Kishkovsky, Hamm brings “significant contributions in quality and substance to the position of Executive Administrator. He is a thoughtful man with deep theological and spiritual resources. He is able to be deeply rooted spiritually while at the same time handling administrative details and addressing organizational challenges.”
The Rev Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, General Secretary of the Reformed Church in America, CCT President and Moderator of the Steering Committee, noted that Hamm “was involved with CCT during its formative time and was one who understood the necessity of deepening fellowship between leaders of Christian ‘families’ who, in many cases, had little previous relationship with one another, and that common action and witness would grow from that foundation. [Hamm] understands the features of CCT’s emerging organizational culture that make us unique and that will build a sustainable future.”
“I have always been drawn to the vision of the various parts of the church of Jesus Christ in the United States seeking common ground and working together in all ways possible,” Hamm affirmed. “We must seek every opportunity to manifest the unity that is ours in Christ if we are to have a significant impact on this culture and nation.” He called CCT an “appropriately postmodern model, with its focus on networking, consensus building and action. The prospect of helping to shape and grow such a post-modern organization for the sake of common witness and mission is truly exciting!”
Hamm will assume the post August 1.
Officially organized in 2006, Christian Churches Together is composed of 36 churches and national organizations, representative of the diversity of US Christian families, who are committed to meeting together for fellowship and worship and to working together on issues crucial to Christian witness in the USA. CCT held its 2007 annual meeting in Pasadena, CA with a focus on evangelism (see www.christianchurchestogether.org). Its 2008 meeting (January 8 – 11) in Washington DC will strengthen and expand efforts to overcome poverty in the United States (see CCT’s Statement on Poverty on the website).
Contact: Rev Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, 616-698-7071 or 616-648-2931