Call to Action Interim Operations Team Named

March 03, 2011

Nashville, TENN.   The Council of Bishops and the Connectional Table have named a seven-member Call to Action Interim Operations Team, which will serve to guide change management and work with the Council of Bishops, the Connectional Table, the general agencies, and many others to develop and implement work plans in stages leading up to and beyond the 2012 General Conference. 

The Interim Operations Team (IOT) was authorized by the Council of Bishops and Connectional Table in November 2010, after adoption of several recommendations from the previous Call to Action Steering Team. Members of the team were initially chosen by a selection committee and then affirmed by vote of the two groups. The new team will disband in December 2012.
The IOT's assignment is to be a catalyst for implementing significant change in denominational structures, policies, practices, and leadership in ways that are aligned with God's call, the Church's mission, and the needs of the world in the 21st century. The IOT was created to build on recommendations from the Call to Action steering team in order to influence, guide, and challenge leaders and groups across The United Methodist Church. 
Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, convener of the IOT says, "The Call to Action process helped to clarify the 'why' and the 'what' for denominational effectiveness. The IOT will next offer counsel to the Church about the 'who' and the 'how.'"
The IOT is not a decision-making body and its advice and recommendations will be shared for action by appropriate leaders and groups across the connection. Only a small part of its work is expected to focus on legislation, with the greater work being advice and counsel about processes and practices at the local, district, Annual Conference and general levels of the denomination.
Members of the IOT are:
  • Neil M. Alexander (IOT executive coordinator) – president and publisher of The UM Publishing House (UMPH) of The United Methodist Church;
  • Carolyn H. Byrd, chair and CEO of GlobalTech Financial, LLC – recognized for her expertise in developing and negotiating innovative financial strategies for corporations, government, and nonprofit and civic organizations. She is a member of Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia;
  • Adam Hamilton – founding pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, who lectures on leadership, evangelism, and preaching across the country;
  • Laura Nichol – works with boards, CEOs, and executive teams and is currently on the Board of Visitors at Duke Divinity School, the Board of Casa de Esperanza, and is past chair of the Board of Stewards at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas;
  • Gregory V. Palmer (IOT convener) – resident bishop of the Illinois Area and immediate past president of the Council of Bishops;
  • Gary Shorb, president & CEO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis – also the current chair for an initiative called Memphis Fast Forward, advocating the premise that economic growth and prosperity of life will follow, once Memphis-Shelby County successfully addresses the basics (good jobs, quality education, safe streets, and efficient government);
  • Carol Tuthill – recently retired executive with Proctor & Gamble, focusing on strategy development/deployment, organization assessment/design, change management, executive coaching, and leadership team effectiveness. She is a member of Armstrong Chapel United Methodist Church, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Call to Action Project was launched by assignment from the Council of Bishops with endorsement and funding from the Connectional Table in November 2009, building on work of the previous Call to Action Committee.