9/29/2003 News media contact: Linda Bloom · (646) 369-3759 · New York
Photographs of the Rev. Raponzil Drake and the Rev. Soomee Kim are available.
By Linda Bloom*
General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. Photo number W03022, Accompanies UMNS #462
No Long Caption Available for this Story
HOUSTON (UMNS) - The two top staff executives of
the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women will not
continue with the agency.
Commission members, meeting Sept.
25-28 in Houston, decided during an executive session not to re-nominate
the Rev. Raponzil "Ra" Drake and the Rev. Soomee Kim as co-general
secretaries for 2004.
Top staff executives of United Methodist
commissions and agencies must be re-nominated by their boards of
directors each year, with final approval coming from the General Council
Drake and Kim had only been in office a year,
succeeding the Rev. Stephanie Anna Hixon and Cecelia Long, both of whom
had reached the denomination's 12-year term limit for general
"It was a sad, difficult decision," the Rev. Gail
Murphy-Geiss, COSROW's president, told United Methodist News Service.
"We appreciate Ra and Soomee's willingness to come work for us as long
as they did. We felt this was what had to be done."
commission declined to give any explanation for the decision to not
re-nominate the pair but said its personnel committee would recommend an
interim general secretary for 2004. In budget discussions, commission
members approved additional 2003 expenses that would include $15,000 if
an interim would start Nov. 1 and $18,000 for moving expenses to
relocate Drake and Kim.
Commission members also expect to hire
only one person to fill the permanent position of general secretary in
2005. Currently, the Evanston, Ill.,-based commission is the only
churchwide agency with two general secretaries.
Kim, who was born
in South Korea, previously was pastor of First United Methodist Church
in San Fernando, Calif., and had been on the agency's commission since
2000. Drake, an African American and former pastor of Newman United
Methodist Church in Lincoln, Neb., had worked with Memphis and Nebraska
conference commissions on the status and role of women. # # # *Bloom is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in New York.