Comprehensive Structure to Be Decided by Later This Year
LWI Council Press Release No. 13/2011 | GENEVA, 11 June 2011 (LWI) – The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Council has approved a framework proposal for restructuring the Geneva Secretariat or Communion Office.
The “Framework Proposal for a Restructured LWF Secretariat” describes interim plans based on the LWF Strategy 2012-2017, which the Council approved earlier today.
LWF General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge presented the proposal to Lutheran leaders from around the world meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, until 14 June under the theme “Discerning Our Common Journey.”
Currently, the LWF Secretariat’s work is divided among the Departments for Mission and Development, Theology and Studies, and World Service; and the General Secretariat which comprises the Offices for Communications Services, Ecumenical Affairs, Finance and Administration, International Affairs and Human Rights, Personnel, and Planning.
The proposal gives an outline on the structural implications of the LWF Strategy. A more detailed and fine-tuned paper on the proposed staffing configurations and organizational chart of the Communion Office will be presented to the Council later in the year.
Considerations put forward include making a closer connection between the LWF’s theology and ecumenical dialogue work; increasing the emphasis on holistic mission and the deepening of relationships among member churches; and refocusing diaconal action on emergency preparedness and climate change.
The Communion Office framework proposal suggests closer attention to advocacy work, including linking it with public witness in a strong unit that collaborates closely with the Office of the General Secretary.
It describes communications as a strategic management tool that should have a stronger fundraising perspective, and a stronger interface with LWF programmatic work.
The proposal points out that an LWF Secretariat self-assessment had also shown the need to move beyond an administrative approach and adopt a resource management approach which will be reflected in the final structural configuration.
Careful consideration needs to be paid to the LWF’s overall fundraising efforts, the proposal adds. It concludes: “The Communion Office requires a structural configuration that serves the implementation of the Strategy, and this needs to be built on a sustainable basis, both in terms of financial resources and human resources.”
At this year’s meeting, it will not be possible to present to the Council a budget proposal that would take into consideration a new Communion Office structure and programs fully aligned with the Strategy. Therefore, the Council will at this stage discuss a budget frame only for 2012 with the same structure as the current one, reflecting information available as of 24 May 2011.
Council members will be considering a proposed 2012 budget frame amounting to EUR 80.9 million.
While the 2012 budget frame still shows a projected deficit of around EUR 345,000, the goal is to present to the Council later this year a balanced budget that is aligned to the restructured secretariat and work. As of 2013, the plans and budgets will be prepared for the regular three-year planning cycle, with the first year requiring Council approval and the following years for information.
In the proposed budget frame, some of the programs have taken into consideration some elements of the new strategic plan; however, further attention will need to be given to assessing the relevance and effectiveness of the current work in light of the new strategy. This alignment of programs will be done during the following months. (562 words)