Christian Science Board Of Directors Announces Major Reorganization
Board adopts earlier management structure; Monitor Channel cable service to be curtailed; newspaper and other publications to continue
THE Christian Science Board of Directors yesterday announced in a meeting with employees a significant reorganization of the management structure for the Church of Christ, Scientist, and for its worldwide publishing and broadcasting activities. The announcement indicated that this restructuring has been under consideration for several years.
Members of the five-person board will immediately assume more direct involvement in the church's administrative affairs and provide long-range planning and support for all essential activities of the church.
Details of the reorganization include the election of Virginia S. Harris as chairman of the board. She replaces outgoing chairman Harvey W. Wood, who has resigned after nearly 15 years as a board member. Mrs. Harris will also represent the board as publisher of the writings of church founder Mary Baker Eddy. Mrs. Harris notes: "Our longtime colleague and friend, Harvey Wood, has provided important direction for this church. The board is deeply grateful for his service and loyalty. He has been closely in volved in all of the church's efforts to find renewed relevance in today's world, to strengthen its healing practice, and to promote international peace."
John L. Selover will now serve as treasurer of the church in addition to fulfilling his responsibilities as a board member. Former treasurer Donald Bowersock continues as managing treasurer.
Board member Richard C. Bergenheim will also take on the role of editor in chief to coordinate the activities of religious publishing and broadcasting for the organization. He will represent a link to other publishing activities as well, to provide support as needed.
Mrs. Olga M. Chaffee assumes the office of clerk of The Mother Church in addition to her continuing work on the board of directors. Juan Carlos Lavigne of Buenos Aires will provide assistance as managing clerk.
Al M. Carnesciali of Costa Mesa, Calif., has been elected to fill the vacancy of outgoing board member Wood. Mr. Carnesciali has also been elected to serve as manager of The Christian Science Publishing Society, following the resignation of former manager Netty Douglass. Ms. Douglass had held that position for the past two years. Carnesciali praised her efforts and noted, "Netty Douglass's untiring dedication over many years to the work of the publishing society has made a lasting contribution not only t o this church but to society as well." Ms. Douglass remains with the organization as executive producer and editor of radio and television programming and as president of Monitor Television Inc.
Carnesciali also said the publishing society will seek an outright sale of its cable television operation, The Monitor Channel. In the event that no suitable buyer is available, the channel will be discontinued on June 15, but will meet all contractual obligations. Carnesciali said: "This in no way indicates that we are giving up our involvement in any of the publishing and broadcasting media that people normally use today to obtain their news and information. ... We will continue to have an effective pr esence in both the national and international arenas of newspaper and broadcast journalism."
Carnesciali added, "This organization has an expectation of ongoing involvement in television broadcasting and has already acquired considerable experience in the industry. Our current inventory of programming material should certainly remain of interest to a wide public audience."
The statement from the manager indicated that the changes announced today will not affect the daily newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, founded in 1908 by Mary Baker Eddy. Richard J. Cattani continues as editor of the paper. Also unaffected will be the monthly news magazine, World Monitor, under editor in chief Earl W. Foell, and the weekly and monthly religious magazines under editor William E. Moody. Carnesciali also indicated that public radio broadcasting activities of the publishing society an d the international shortwave broadcasting network will go forward in their present formats.
Other announcements included the election of J. Anthony Periton of Kingston, England, as a trustee of the publishing society, and M. Victor Westberg of Los Altos, Calif., as manager of committees on publication. John H. Hoagland Jr. and Hal M. Friesen have stated that their respective work as trustees will be completed by June 15. Mr. Hoagland will continue as chairman of Monitor Television.
Explaining the reorganization, board chairman Virginia Harris stated: "This internal restructuring is a return to the original form of administration established by Mary Baker Eddy when the church was founded. This basic administrative form continued until 1917. We feel the steps we are taking today provide necessary strength to our church organization as we endeavor both to meet the needs of our current church membership and to address the broad needs of humanity in the coming century."