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Wes Granberg-Michaelson Brings Rich Experience to The Columbia Partnership
It is with a spirit of celebration that The Columbia Partnership [TCP] announces our newest Ministry Colleague, Wes Granberg-Michaelson. Wes joins TCP to serve on the Transforming Denominations Team where he will engage in leadership activities that seek to empower denominational organizations to be vital and vibrant in the 21st century. He adds great value and rich experience to the commitment of TCP to help denominations to act in transformational ways with regard to their affiliated congregations and the wider global Church.
Talking about why he connected with TCP, Granberg-Michaelson said, "We live in a time of major social, cultural, and generational changes which pose critical challenges to the church's mission and its future. The Columbia Partnership understands the urgency of recovering the church's missional identity and calling. I'm particularly intrigued by how this can dramatically renew our organizational and denominational structures. I'm also convinced that's we'll only discover the wisdom we need by understanding how we belong ecumenically to the whole Church, with all of its gifts."
Granberg-Michaelson recently retired after 17 years as general secretary of the Reformed Church in America [RCA]. During his tenure RCA embarked on a ten-year emphasis known as Our Call, an effort of missional transformation for this denomination of great heritage in the United States and Canada. A current independent evaluation of this work indicates that almost nine years after the initiation of this effort, it is meeting with significant success. Granberg-Michaelson continues to serve the RCA part time as ecumenical advisor, working with its new general secretary, Tom DeVries.
“The Columbia Partnership is extremely fortunate to have Wes associated with us” said George Bullard, strategic coordinator for TCP. “He will add valuable experience to our community of consultants, coaches, and writers. It is my privilege to have known Wes for 15 years, and to have had a close ministry relationship with him for the past three years.”
Unexpected Destinations: An Evangelical Pilgrimage to World Christianity (Eerdmans) is the recent memoir by Granberg-Michaelson that recounts an eventful life that has led him to his current dimension of wisdom available to those who desire to engage him in dialogue. Among the highlights of his ministry are eight years on the staff of U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon, membership in the Church of the Savior in Washington, DC, managing editor for Sojourners magazine, founded by Jim Wallis, and six years on the staff of the World Council of Churches [WCC] in Geneva, Switzerland. His earlier books include Leadership from Inside Out: Spirituality and Organizational Change (Crossroads).
Wes has worked faithfully in various roles with the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches, was instrumental in the establishment of Christian Churches Together in the USA [CCT], and served as the moderator of its Steering Committee from 2001-2007. He also serves on the Steering Committee for the Global Christian Forum, a new ecumenical initiative, and is on the governing boards of the National Council of Churches, Sojourners, Church Innovations, and Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services.
Dick Hamm, a Ministry Colleague with TCP and executive director of CCT says that “Wes Granberg-Michaelson has been one of the most effective denominational leaders in recent decades. He set a new course for his church and aligned resources, including colleagues, in an amazingly effective way. Not only is he a respected leader, he has intentionally studied leadership, written about it, and coached both individuals and organizations.”
Granberg-Michaelson's wife, Karin, serves as a hospital chaplain, and is the daughter of the late Dr. Lars I. Granberg, former president of Northwestern College. She is the author of three books, and has served the RCA in several ways, including as a missionary teacher in Japan, and other ecumenical experiences. The Granberg-Michaelson's make their home in Grand Rapids, MI, and have two children, Jonkrister and Karis.