Promise Keepers has closed its eight regional offices as part of another major restructuring for the men's movement. The lights went out at the group's field centers earlier this month, with the work being transferred to its Denver, Colo., headquarters.

Staff are being invited to apply for new positions there, but "we recognize and regret that some will not be able to continue with us," said Ed Barron, vice president of Promise Keepers' U.S. Ministries.

The changes were part of an effort to maximize Promise Keepers' effectiveness in working with existing ministries in conference locations, he said. "Our vision isn't shrinking, it's growing," Barron insisted.

The organization has announced plans for 15 conferences this year, with first-time events in Orlando, Fla.; Louisville, Ky.; Baton Rouge, La.; Worcester, Mass.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Oklahoma City and Lynchburg, Va. Dates and venues have yet to be finalized.

More than 3.5 million men have participated in stadium and arena events around the country since Promise Keepers was founded by former college football coach Bill McCartney in 1990.

The organization downsized in 1998 when income dropped significantly after it scrapped registration fees for its conferences. Since then, it has continued to suffer financial difficulties, forcing it to commence further cutbacks.

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