IRVINE, CA (June 23, 2012) – Four leaders who are changing positions within the denomination or are retiring were honored during today’s business session of the 127th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church.
Honored were Don Meyer, executive minister of the Department of Communication, Mark Novak, superintendent of the North Pacific Conference, Dave Kersten, executive minister of the Department of the Ordered Ministry, and Richard Lucco, for his service while serving as superintendent of the Great Lakes Conference.
Meyer, the retiring executive minister of the Department of Communication, was honored for his 15 years of service during the morning business session of the 127th Annual Meeting today.
Walter commended Meyer for leading the denomination through dramatic changes in the broader world of communications.
“Don’s sensitivity and openness to following God’s call is evident by his willingness to leave a successful career in journalism to accept the challenge to lead the Evangelical Covenant Church in its transition from a focus on publication to a broader focus on communication,” Walter said in reading from the citation. “Don has led the Department of Communication through a season of momentous and challenging technological transitions.”
The president noted that when Meyer started, “There was actually a serious conversation as to whether we should start a website – and would the web really last.”
Since then, a website was started and has undergone multiple iterations. The department also provides live broadcasting of major Covenant events, such as the Annual Meeting and Midwinter Conference, that are viewed around the world. Other communication tools also have been added in areas of video production, mobile technology, social media support, and ebook publications, among others. Walter also noted the many awards The Covenant Companion has received over the years.
Meyer thanked colleagues and delegates for allowing him the privilege of serving, noting the journey has somewhat of a full circle in that it was just a few miles down the road in Anaheim where he originally joined the Covenant Offices team.
Walter said that among Kersten’s accomplishments has been the expansion of women in leadership. The number of Hispanic leaders also has grown exponentially under his guidance.
Kersten already had been in front of the gathering several times to give reports and had been elected to his new position as dean of North Park Theological Seminary. In his remarks, Kersten said, “This feels sort of like a Rolling Stones Farewell Tour that never ends.”
Novak was elected earlier in the meeting to replace Kersten. Walter said that as superintendent of the North Pacific Conference, the number of churches had expanded and innovative justice ministries had been started.
Lucco left his position as superintendent of the Great Lakes Conference to serve as executive director for ministry development at Covenant offices. Walter described Lucco as a man whose character is “without guile.” Under his leadership, the conference had expanded numerous ministries and seen a tremendous growth of churches especially in Detroit.