Cecilia Williams New CMJ Ministry Initiatives Director

CHICAGO, IL (May 24, 2013) – Cecilia Williams has been selected to serve as ministry initiatives director for the Department of Compassion, Mercy and Justice (CMJ) of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Williams, who resides in Minneapolis, served as associate pastor of Sanctuary Covenant Church and as the pastor for engagement and care/evangelism and outreach for more than four years. Most recently she served as interim senior pastor after Efrem Smith was called to serve as superintendent of the Pacific Southwest Conference.

cecilia-4In her new role, Williams will work closely with local Covenant congregations and regional conferences, as well as Covenant Initiatives of Care, to identify, initiate and develop a variety of sustainable projects such as medical clinics and transitional housing centers that form the heart and spirit of CMJ’s Matthew Micah Initiative. Click here to learn more about this important ministry.

Additionally, the director will contribute to the overall mission of the department as it seeks to equip, empower, network, and mobilize Covenant congregations, ministries, and leaders in strengthening existing ministries that fall under the Love Mercy – Do Justice umbrella, which is one of five Covenant mission priorities. Williams will collaborate with these ministry areas to identify new opportunities and advocate on issues of justice.

The primary role of this new position is that of a practitioner – someone who can come alongside the local church to assist in mobilizing ministries of compassion, mercy and justice in their context, says Debbie Blue, CMJ executive minister. “Cecilia comes with significant experience in that role, in addition to strong pastoral and administrative strengths,” Blue notes.

“She is a very strong communicator,” says Smith of her gifts. She will bring an array of gifts to the position, Smith adds, including “her preaching and teaching gifts. Her ability to articulate vision and mission are outstanding. She is also strong at building teams and mobilizing people.”

Williams received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with a Women Studies minor from the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts, and earned a Master of Divinity degree in pastoral care and counseling from Bethel Theological Seminary.

Prior to her ministry service at Sanctuary, she served as program coordinator and director for a number of nonprofit institutions as well as graduate teaching at Bethel Theological Seminary, where she also served as an interim director for multicultural affairs, and as associate dean for intercultural student programs and services at Bethel University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Williams will assume her new responsibilities on June 17.

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