Leadership and Organization
The Swedenborgian Church of North America is a network of various local ministries and churches. Active members of ministries and churches within the denomination are eligible to vote at the Annual Convention where structural changes, leadership changes, and officers of the national church are decided upon.
Local ministries and churches are grouped together into regions that are called “Associations” in the United States, and “Conferences” in Canada. The Associations/Conferences provide guidance and resources to their churches and are responsible for sending members from their constituent ministries to Convention as delegates. The amount of delegates each Association/Conference sends is dependent on how many total members they have (Every Association/Conference starts with two and gains an additional delegate for every 10 members).
“Every love has a purpose. All wisdom moves toward fulfilling that purpose…”
Emanuel Swedenborg, True Christianity 47
Council of Ministers
The Council of Ministers is composed of all of the ordained ministers that are in good standing with the Council. Within the Council of Ministers they have their own Executive Committee made up of the President, Secretary, and three additional members. In addition to this there are several other committees that help govern the education, placement, funding, and misconduct of the Council of Ministers. Every active member of the Council of Ministers has the right to vote at Convention.
The governing body of the denomination is made up of 14 members representing the entire geographic region of the church, including both lay people and ministers. Included are the four officers of the Swedenborgian Church, nine representatives from across North America (both elected at the annual convention), and the chair of the Council of Ministers (elected by the Council of Ministers).
This group, referred to as the General Council, meets in the fall, spring, and right before and directly after the Annual Convention. There may also be special meetings convened as needed to conduct the business of the denomination. The Executive Committee meets monthly to conduct the day-to-day business of the denomination.
As of the 2022 Convention, the General Council is:
Rev. Jim Lawrence
Additional Members of the General Council
Chair of the Council of Ministers
Rev. Susannah Currie
Rev. Sage Cole
Rev. Betsy Coffman
Kelly Schellenberg Kennedy
Rev. Thom Muller
In addition to the Executive Committee and General Council, there are several standing committees that are elected at the convention as well as committees who are appointed by the General Council to conduct specific tasks needed by the denomination throughout the year.
For a comprehensive list of all of the committees, their functions, and their members please refer to the annual Journal.