August 3, 2016
As I write this article, J. Herbert Nelson is enjoying his first day on the job as the new Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church, USA. I have imagined this day for a while now.
We are at our best as a Church when we imagine the wondrous things that God can do.
When Denise Anderson and I were discerning whether or not to stand as Co-Moderators of the 222nd General Assembly, we went back and forth for several weeks trying to imagine what it might look like to serve the Church we love in this way. Sometimes I was ready to take the leap and Denise was not. Other times, she was on board but I was not. But then we started envisioning together: imagine working with a new clerk and a new vision. Imagine leading our denomination to talk about race and white privilege together. Imagine modeling a new way of serving as co-moderators. And so we leapt.
And here we are several weeks after the 222nd General Assembly still excited about the possibilities. As I wrote for my own Presbytery: Continue reading GA Reflections by Jan Edmiston
By Laura M. Cheifetz, Vice President of Church and Public Relations, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation
You’ve heard it! Our PC(USA) leaders are a black man, a white woman, a black woman, and a gay Latino man. Things will not be the same, ever again! Right?
A lot happened at the 222nd General Assembly. J. Herbert Nelson was elected to be the next Stated Clerk (our head of communion*), T. Denise Anderson and Jan Edmiston were elected Co-Moderators of the 222nd General Assembly, and it was the first GA for Tony de la Rosa in his position as Interim Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency (he came on staff last year).
Of course, there are four other agencies of the church whose presidents are white men, but those named above are the most visible current faces of the PC(USA). Continue reading Save Us From Ourselves
By Andy James, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone, Queens, NY
Presbyterians talk a lot about being a connectional church, but we don’t always say what this means. Does this mean that we have a big fancy computer network that links up all our congregations across the country? Since our national church website has about 100,000 pages but I can’t ever find anything, probably not! Does being connectional mean that we play games of Connect-4 or connect-the-dots whenever we get together? No, I don’t think so. Does our connected status mean that we have to keep talking to each other no matter what? Well, that depends, really…
As much as we talk about being a connectional church, no form of the word “connection” is ever used in the Book of Order to describe the form of our Presbyterian government. We are described as “missional” (F-1.01), “ecumenical” (F-1.0402), “confessional” (F-2.01), “Reformed” (F-1.0303), and even “constitutional” (F-3.04), but never connectional. While it is truly very much part of who we are to be a connectional church, I think we might actually be using the wrong word! Continue reading The Relationships That Connect Us
By T. Denise Anderson, 222nd General Assembly Co-moderator Candidate (with Jan Edmiston)
While at the NEXT Church National Gathering last week, I engaged in a number of conversations about race. Some were about encounters with race and racism. Others were about racial justice. But the one that was most resonant for me was a conversation I had with a few other people of color about representation. In that discussion, and in subsequent conversations I would have with other people of color, we talked about what happens when people of color are “at the table” in conversations and in leadership. An interesting phenomenon occurs: it becomes obvious to us very soon that we are there because it is assumed we are “safe.” Continue reading On Not Being the “Safe” One
Update: We received word of the death of Syngman Rhee this morning, January 14. There will be a private funeral for the family and plans will be made for a memorial service in the future. Click here for the story on our website.
Memo Re: Prayers for Syngman Rhee, Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Practice of Global Leadership Development
From: Deborah Flemister Mullen, Dean of Faculty and Executive Vice President, Columbia Theological Seminary Continue reading Prayers for Syngman Rhee