Today I have resigned as the Executive Director at Community Renewal Society. My time will end in early summer. I have accepted a position as the CEO of the Minnesota Council of Churches in Minneapolis, MN.
I have come to this decision for three reasons. First, I believe that the organizational leadership of Community Renewal Society needs to be reflective of Chicago, the CRS base, and its commitment to racial justice. In the 3 years that I have been at CRS, the Board and staff have become much more diverse. The board is 3/4s persons of color, most of whom are African-American. The Board of CRS, in its visioning for the next 3-5 years, has reaffirmed its commitment to diversity and being led by persons in communities most affected by racism. As we had these discussions, it became clear to me that I needed to create space for that to happen so that we could fully live into the Board’s, and my own, vision of CRS’ promising future.
Second, the Minnesota Council of Churches is an organization I highly regard and have worked with through the years. This position provides me the opportunity to return to a region and context where for 30 years I have lived, served, worshipped, networked, and cared about the social justice concerns in a very personal way. I feel called to return to Minnesota and provide leadership at the MN Council of Churches.
Third, these past three years have been a challenge as my wife and I have lived separately. In recent months, I have grown weary of this commuter reality. Life is too short for me not to be with the one I love on a regular basis.
It has been an honor to serve as the Executive Director of Community Renewal Society. I have learned much. I have welcomed the opportunity to participate in the very important, and at times historic, work of social justice in Chicagoland and Illinois. I highly valued the participation and commitment of CRS member churches and social justice minded individuals who make CRS the powerful organization it is.
Our Board President and the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors will meet in the next week to discuss how the transition will move forward. More information will be forthcoming.
I pray for CRS. I believe in CRS. I hope that I have stayed true to God’s purpose for my time at CRS.
Rev. Curtiss Paul DeYoung