The Rev. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan of the California-Nevada Annual Conference has been elected an officer of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. He was elected chair of the Division of Higher Education at GBHEM's fall 2008 meeting.
Kuan is under appointment to Extension Ministry and serves as Associate Professor of Old Testament at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California.
At the fall meeting the Rev. Jerome King Del Pino, GBHEM’s general secretary, told new and returning Board members that they will be working with staff to answer the question of what it takes to form and nurture leaders with vision.
“What are the lengths to which this Board is willing to go in order to have leaders capable of reaching for a future with hope?” Del Pino asked.
“God has plans for us, plans for welfare and not for evil,” he said. “We need to develop and maintain a sense of urgency about our task. . . .We can no longer play it cool.”
“We can’t do everything, but what we can do can make a difference,” he said.
Bishop Marcus Matthews, resident bishop of the New York West Area, is the new president of the Board, which also elected chairs of eight standing committees.
In addition to Cal-Nevada’s Kuan, other officers elected to lead the 64-member Board are: the Rev. Kenneth Carter Jr., Western North Carolina Conference, chair of the Division of Ordained Ministry; and Nora Madan, Florida Annual Conference, recording secretary of the Board.
The Rev. Carolyn Peterson, Pacific Northwest Conference, was elected vice-chair of DOM and the Rev. Cheryl Jefferson Bell, Kansas West Annual Conference, DOM’s secretary. Bishop Jonathan Keaton, resident bishop of the Michigan Area, was elected vice-chair of DHE; and the Rev. Joan Reasinger, Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference, was elected secretary of the Division.
Chairs of the standing committees are: Dr. Cheryl King, Kentucky Annual Conference, Bylaws; David Braden, North Illinois Annual Conference, Racial-Ethnic Concerns Committee; Bruce Blumer, Dakotas Annual Conference, Loans and Scholarships Committee; the Rev. Laurie Haller, West Michigan Annual Conference, Evaluation and Review; the Rev. Jimmy Nunn, Northwest Texas Annual Conference, Personnel and Policies; the Rev. David Bard, Minnesota Annual Conference, Legislative; Dr. Trudie Kibbe Reed, Florida Annual Conference, Strategic Plan Advisory; Bishop James Swanson, resident bishop of the Holston Annual Conference, Global Education and Ministry.
Bishop Melvin Talbert preached the sermon at opening worship, telling Board members and staff that modern preachers tend to place their emphasis on God’s love and grace, which he said they should do.
“But I also believe that in God’s hands God will bring wrath and judgment. Eternal life is a gift that we can accept or reject,” he said.
“We are always standing at the crossroads,” Talbert said.
The Board also approved the 2009 budget, worshipped together, attended a ministry fair, and celebrated the retirements of two assistant general secretaries, the Rev. Patricia W. Barrett and the Rev. Robert F. Kohler.