A season of change at KAIROS

Ryan Weston, Steering Committee Chair
Ryan Weston, Steering Committee Chair

KAIROS is in a season of transition. As the new Chair of the KAIROS Steering Committee, I am excited to be part of the evolution of this remarkable organization.

After more than 20 years under the administration of the United Church of Canada, KAIROS will become an independent charitable entity in 2025 that will further our shared work towards social and ecological justice in Canada and worldwide.

Leah Reesor-Keller became Interim Executive Director of KAIROS in September of 2023. Her engaged, compassionate, and effective leadership has been so valuable during these last few months. I am very happy to report that Leah has accepted an offer to extend her time with KAIROS for an additional year, allowing her to focus on supporting the transition underway, while providing important stability for the staff, members, and partners of KAIROS. Leah’s new title is Transitional Executive Director. Her contract will be extended through May 31, 2025. Thank you, Leah! During this time, the Steering Committee will launch a search process for the long-term executive director role.

We are excited by the changes ahead. Attaining independent charitable status will allow KAIROS to pursue new funding opportunities for small and medium nonprofits and will set KAIROS up to be more flexible and adaptable in the changing social, cultural, and political landscape. This process is complex and intensive; however several staff members, Steering Committee members, and KAIROS members continue to work actively on the various elements required for this change and we hope to complete the process in approximately one year from now. Throughout this process, maintaining and strengthening ties to the ecumenical membership remains key, with representatives from member churches and organizations working together to develop bylaws for the new organization.

Like any time of transition, there have been challenges, but there is also the promise and anticipation of something new to come. While there is much to sort out, I am excited to see where we go together.

During this period, we will continue to focus on the work and mission of KAIROS and our partners, to rely on the strength of our staff and the generosity of our members, and to mobilize for justice, dignity and solidarity for communities that are experiencing marginalization, exploitation, and abuse. Our work as KAIROS has always been collective, has always been a movement, and I know that together we will move ahead in this season of transition.

I am grateful for the support and contributions of my fellow Steering Committee members in this work, including those who serve along with me on the Executive. I especially want to acknowledge and give thanks for the work and leadership of Rev. Murray Pruden, who provided vital direction and guidance to the work of KAIROS during his three years as Chair. I know the entire Steering Committee is grateful that Murray will continue to serve on the Steering Committee, including on the Executive as Past Chair. We are grateful for his wisdom and experience.

By Ryan Weston, Steering Committee Chair

Filed in: Steering Committee

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