The Creative Ministries Network (CMN) board has recommended to the Commission for Mission (CFM) board that the agency move to dissolution.
CMN board chair Rev Paul Mayfield said the agency is aware that many people throughout the church will be concerned and distressed about this decision. He told Crosslight he hopes to inform them, as much as possible, about the future.
Board members have resigned and, as per the inter-related model of governance, all governance and management responsibilities have been transferred to the CFM.
Decisions about whether the agency should be dissolved will be made by the CFM board at a future meeting and, if necessary, that decision will go to the Synod Standing Committee (SSC) for ratification.
Mr Mayfield said the CMN board was unable to resolve a range of sudden and complex issues and the viability of the agency came into question.
“The Board decided to resign, which was not an easy decision,” he said.
“After that particular meeting, I asked the CFM to help us through a very difficult period in the life of this agency.
“Without their assistance, we would have had a major mess on our hands. It was a very distressing time for everyone. They appropriately empowered us and at the same time slowed the process down and enabled us to get some clear air and think our way forward.”
The CFM is considering other ways to keep CMN’s ministries alive. The agency’s legacy includes GriefWork, a program that delivers a practical service to families who experience the traumatic loss of a family member as a result of work-related harm.
The CMN has also instigated a number of activities associated with work-related harm. It has published a wide range of reports, notably the Dignity at Work project which examines the connection between workplace and wellbeing.
CFM executive director David Pargeter said CFM had played a significant part in this particular work, sponsoring several initiatives in what is a widely neglected feature of the Church’s life in the world.
“I can’t think of a more valuable piece of ministry in the life of our Church than this relationship between work and faith, and it must go on – somehow,” he said.
“The life-story of this agency must continue in some form. That’s what we are working toward.
“I encouraged the church community to keep CMN staff, volunteers and the Board in your prayers.”
Other programs, including the Veterans’ Arts Program (VAP) and the CMN faith community, will also continue. CFM will provide further updates as decisions are made.
Should you have any questions please contact Cheryl Lawrie, Associate Executive Director, on 9251 5275 or by email Cheryl.Lawrie@victas.uca.org.au