GCAH holds second board meeting of quadrennium
Featured GCAH holds second board meeting of quadrennium
General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH) holds second board meeting for 2017-2020 Quadrennium
The celebration of Dr. Jerry Gill and Dr. Paul McCleary as the 2017 recipients of its Distinguished Service Award, worship at the historic St. George’s church, attendance of chairpersons of annual conference committees on Archives and History, and a visit to Mother Bethel AMC were highlights of the General Commission Archives and History’s second board meeting of the four-year cycle. The meeting was held September 15-18 at the United Methodist Archives and History Center on the Drew University campus in Madison, New Jersey.
As the first order of business, Rev. Alfred T. Day, General Secretary, spoke about the work of the Commission as “more than shelves full of dusty books and ledgers but the very stuff and substance of who and what United Methodists have been from the Wesleys, Asbury and Hosier to Alsted, Ough and Carcano. “GCAH,” he said, “is the Church’s ministry of memory, making the past accessible to help the UMC envision, form and shape the future.”
The GCAH Board consists of the 24 members with Bishop Park serving as President of the Board. Other officers include Drs. Judit Lakatos (Central Europe), William Bobby McClain (NEJ), Vice Presidents; Diana Miller (NCJ), Secretary; and the General Council on Finance and Adminstration serving as Treasurer. Other members representing the length and breadth of the denomination include: Matthew Loyer, Jeremy Smith, Stephen Yale, Linda Schramm, Ted Campbell, Judi Fergus, Jennifer Neal, Imingcio Dalig Plang (Phillipines), Luther Oconer, Duane Coates, James Pyatt, DarEll Weist, Chris Brown, Christina Wolf, Joe DiPaolo, James Shopshire, Brian Bakeman, Elizabeth Lopez, and Anne Packard.
A visioning time stressed initiatives to increase digitization and on-line accessibility of Commission resources with attention making them smart-technology friendly, expanding efforts to train archivists outside the US, especially in Africa and the Philippines, seeking creative efforts to translate the UMC’s history at every level of church life, and actively pursuing a financial development plan for the Commission due to the environment of decreasing General Church revenues.
Other notable actions:
- approved a $1.05 million budget for 2018 including more than $20,000 in grants to the denomination’s 49 Heritage Landmarks, and $20,000 in awards, prizes and grants to Methodist history students and scholars.
- approved the nominations for the 2018 Distinguished Service Award – Bishop Joel Martinez and Dr. David Maldonado for their work in collecting the history of the Hispanic – Latino UMC.
- continued an aggressive archives budget that processes, stores and makes accessible the record of UMC general agencies, Council of Bishops and historic Methodist figures, an equivalent of 3 stories of paper each year.
- launched efforts to celebrate the UMC’s 50th birthday in 2018 via Heritage Sunday materials made available to all congregations across the connection including a short video for playing on anniversary Sunday.
Commission member, Church historian and past Distinguished Service Award honoree Dr. Ted Camphell, said, “People become disciples of Jesus Christ because of story, whether from the Bible, the early church, Christian history, congregational histories, or personal accounts. People become involved in a particular church and develop loyalty because of that church’s story. – its DNA and unique personality.”