The UMC’s Connectional Table (CT) has announced the hiring of the Rev. Amy Valdez Barker as executive secretary, effective Jan. 1. She will provide administrative leadership for the CT as it coordinates the mission, ministries and resources of the denomination.
“Amy’s experience as a leader in The United Methodist Church, along with her vision and passion for Christ expressed through our Wesleyan tradition and her administrative skills are just what the Connectional Table needs to assist us as we move forward,” said Bishop Bruce Ough, CT Chairperson. “We are thrilled that she has joined us for the exciting work ahead as we focus our attention on congregational vitality, discerning our future as a worldwide church and engaging more fully in the four areas of focus.”
Ms. Valdez Barker, an ordained deacon from the North Georgia Annual Conference, is currently the project manager of the Vital Congregations initiative supported by the Connectional Table and the Council of Bishops. In the months leading to the 2012 General Conference, Ms. Valdez Barker played a key role in getting some 73 percent of United Methodist congregations to set measurable goals, aimed at increasing worship attendance and giving, and at doubling the number of vital congregations over the next four years.
Ms. Valdez Barker is earning a doctoral degree in Christian Education and Congregational Studies at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. In addition, she has a strong background in Christian ministry, program management and church administration, as well as 20 years of leadership at the general church and global church level. She has served on the executive committee of the World Methodist Council, and on the boards of the General Council on Ministries, the General Council on Finance and Administration, the General Board of Church and Society, and the General Commission on Religion and Race. She was a delegate to the 2004 General Conference, and has worked for the Desert Southwest and Wisconsin Annual Conferences. She will remain in the Chicago area.
Ms. Valdez Barker succeeds Mary Brooke Casad in the role of executive secretary. Ms. Casad announced her resignation in September after serving the CT for five years. The Connectional Table will hold its organizational meeting January 15-17, 2013 in Nashville, Tenn.