From the First Presidency
With regret we announce the resignation of W. Grant McMurray as president of the Community of Christ, effective November 29, 2004.
Brother McMurray’s letter of resignation and request for release from priesthood will be printed in the January 2005 issue of the Herald. After careful consideration of the circumstances, including detailed conversations with Brother McMurray, we have reached the conclusion that it is the correct course of action and so have accepted his resignation and request for release from priesthood office.
Long-established procedures exist to assure continuity of leadership and order in the church in situations where the office of president is vacant. First, the two remaining members of the First Presidency have full rights of presidency over the church until a new president is chosen. The Council of Twelve has met and has offered its support for Presidents Kenneth N. Robinson and Peter A. Judd to preside over the church.
Second, a process is firmly in place that will lead to the designation of a successor in the office of president. In his letter, Brother McMurray indicates that he will not be naming a successor, but rather recommends prayerful discernment on the part of the leading quorums and the presentation of a name to the next World Conference for approval.
Church procedures stipulate a vital role for the Council of Twelve: to ensure that a process is in place for discerning who will be the next president, to set the date for the World Conference at which this name is presented, and to preside over that conference’s consideration of and action on the recommendation. Further details of this process will be shared with the church in a timely manner.
Brother McMurray served as the church’s prophet-president for over eight years, being ordained to that office on April 15, 1996. As his counselors, we offer to him and his family, on behalf of the church, our deepest appreciation for his visionary leadership and dedicated service at a critical time in the life of the church. Brother McMurray has served the church as a full-time minister for more than thirty-three years.
We know that this will be a challenging time for the church. However, we are confident that God’s guiding Spirit will continue to be with us. We ask that all pray for the church, its leaders, and its members during the weeks and months ahead.
We commit our skills and calling to the effective leadership of the church at this time and invite all members to vigorously pursue our mission to follow the Christ.
—The First Presidency
Kenneth N. Robinson
Peter A. Judd