News of the PC(USA) --
archive for 2007
Click here for all
the more recent stories on the PC(USA).
Earlier stories are indexed:
PHEWA seeks ministry award
Education and Welfare Association (PHEWA) is seeking
nominations for four ministry awards that will be celebrated
during the social welfare ministries group’s reception at the
218th General Assembly in San Jose, CA, next June.
The groups offering awards are
Presbyterians for Addiction Action (PAA), the Presbyterian
Association for Community Transformation (PACT), Presbyterians
for Disability Concerns (PDC), and the Presbyterian Serious
Mental Illness Network (PSMIN).
Deadline for nominations is
Feb. 15, 2008. Nominations must include the name of
person/congregation being nominated, the contact person for the
nominee with addresses and phone numbers for both, and a two
page description of the ministry, including why they are
deserving of this recognition.
Nominations should be mailed to:
PHEWA, 100 Witherspoon St., Rm. 3226, Louisville, KY 40202-1396.
Form of Government Task Force
revises documents based on denomination-wide comments
Separate recommendations will address Chapters
1-4 and the rest of The Book of Order
Toya Richards Hill,
Presbyterian News Service
– December 6, 2007 -- Based largely on denomination-wide
feedback, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Form of Government
Task Force (FOGTF) has voted to present the two key parts of its
work to the 218th General Assembly (GA) in separate
The nine-member task
force, charged by the 217th General Assembly (2006) with
reorganizing the denomination’s Form of Government, voted during
a meeting here Nov. 29-Dec.1 to recommend that the
Book of Order:
be amended by
striking the text of Chapters I-IV of the current “Form of
Government” and inserting a new section entitled, “Foundations
of Presbyterian Polity,” and
be amended by
striking the text of Chapters V-XVIII of the current “Form of
Government” and inserting a new “Form of Government.”
The “Foundations of
Presbyterian Polity” document “incorporates the vast majority of
the text of the first four chapters of the current Form of
Government, while improving the organization, logic, and flow of
our foundational polity,” the task force said in the cover
letter that will accompany its work.
The new Form of
Government document “seeks to return the Form of Government to
its original intent — a Constitution for our church that sets
out the overarching standards that govern us as the Presbyterian
Church (U.S.A.), rather than a manual of operations that imposes
a ‘one size fits all’ set of procedures and rules,” the letter
goes on to say.
The task force’s decision to present the two sections to the GA
in separate recommendations came following a period of
denomination-wide review of the group’s work. Individuals,
sessions, presbyteries, synods, committees, and other groups
weighed in, resulting in the final revisions agreed upon during
the task force’s meeting.
done. We’re releasing this,” said Cynthia J. Bolbach, FOGTF
Yet concerns were
raised by task force member Rev. James H.Y. Kim, who along the
way has continually been the voice of the more conservative
evangelical side of the denomination. He said that wing will
take issue with changes to the Book of
Order, particularly Chapters I-IV.
“I’ve been hearing
from people saying, ‘leave them alone,’” he said of Chapters
advocated for including wording in the task force’s
recommendation on the “Foundations” document that said if the
recommendation failed, the current first four chapters would
remain in place — a move he said would have provided opponents a
The task force did
agree, however, to include in its rationale acknowledgement that
it received considerable comments on the “depth of affection”
for the current Chapters I-IV.
The FOGTF will also
submit to the GA a recommendation to “commend to the councils of
the church an ‘Advisory Handbook for Councils for the
Development of Policies and Procedures Required by the Form of
Creation of such a
handbook was included in the FOGTF’s charge. The handbook is to
include a checklist of policies and procedure that synods,
presbyteries and sessions need to have in place to do their
And, in another
recommendation, the task force dealt with other issues the GA
might want to consider as possible amendments if the
Book of Order is
changed to substitute the new Form of Government as proposed
(striking the current text of Chapters V-XVIII and inserting new
Included in those
was the dropping of a proposal contained in the revised Form of
Government that would have allowed an associate pastor to become
the next installed pastor of a congregation with a three-fourths
affirmative vote by the presbytery.
A printed version of
the task force’s work is in development, with the hopes of
having a copy in every congregation by the first week of
January. The documents are already posted
on the Web:
amendments to the Book of Order
the GA agrees on during its summer 2008 meeting in San Jose, CA,
will ultimately be sent on via the stated clerk to the
denomination’s presbyteries for votes. A majority of the 173
presbyteries must ratify proposed changes to the
Book of Order.
Stated clerk nominations
accepted until Dec. 23
begun receiving applications [11-27-07]
The Stated Clerk Nomination Committee (SCNC) of
the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has received several
applications for the top ecclesiastical post in the 2.3
Next summer’s 218th General Assembly will elect
the successor to the Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, who announced
earlier this year that he will not seek a fourth four-year term.
Prospective candidates have until Dec. 23, 2007 —
180 days before the convening of the Assembly in San Jose, CA,
to submit their applications.
Further information, including job description
and application form, are available on the
Stated Clerk Nominations Committee’s
Information is also available in written form
from the SCNC staff resource person Rev.
Synod of Lincoln Trails, 1100 W. 42nd Street, Suite 125,
Indianapolis, IN 46208. She can be contacted by phone at
full Presbyterian News Service report >>
Presbyterian Center email addresses changed
@ctr.pcusa.org is now @pcusa.org
Presbyterian News Service reports that the
domain name for all email addresses of Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.) national staff members has changed from @ctr.pcusa.org
to @pcusa.org. Also, the individual inbox protocol has been
changed from first initial-last name (e.g., jvanmart) to first
name.last name (e.g., jerry.vanmarter).
General Assembly Council Executive Director
Linda Valentine said, "We want to make it easier for
constituents to contact us, so we are moving to a simpler
firstname/lastname address, and the simpler pcusa.org format."
Catholic seminary presents Dignitas Humana Award to Rick
St. John’s School of
Theology-Seminary in Collegeville, MN, has awarded its annual
Dignitas Humana Award to Rick Ufford-Chase, moderator of the
216th General Assembly of the PC(USA), co-founder and former
director of BorderLinks, and current executive director of the
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.
The award is given each year to an individual
who has made significant contributions to the advancement and
promotion of human dignity in the United States and around the
world. It was to be presented to Ufford-Chase in an Oct. 17
story from Presbyterian News Service, Oct. 16, 2007
ecumenical relations outlines ‘bold’ themes
Statement on PC(USA)’s ecumenical position going
to ’08 General Assembly
by Toya Richards Hill,
Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE – October 8, 2007 – A consultation designed to help
frame the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s stance on ecumenical
relations has outlined what it says are bold themes for the
committee that ultimately will submit language to the 2008
General Assembly (GA).
A widely diverse group of people, taking part
in the first Ecumenical Consultation for the PC(USA) since
Presbyterian reunion in 1983, met here Sept. 27-29 to help craft
the denomination’s position on ecumenism. One of the results was
a 21-page document, which after analysis was revised to include
several overarching themes. The final recommendation to the
Assembly will come from the GA Committee on Ecumenical Relations
(CER), which also took part in the consultation and is chaired
by Elder Edward Chan.
Agreed upon by the group, which included the
Rev. Michael Livingston, president of the National Council of
Churches (U.S.A.); the Rev. Anna Case-Winters, professor of
theology at McCormick Theological Seminary; and former PC(USA)
moderator the Rev. Syngman Rhee, was a commitment by the
• Reclaim its historic ecumenical commitment
to do all things together, except those things that because of
conscience it needs to do separately;
• Engage in new dialogue between its core
ecumenical commitments and emerging forms of church life;
• Engage in dialogue and cooperation with
people of other faiths; Emphasize a commitment to justice in the
economy and the earth;
• and Celebrate ecumenism on the local level.
"I think we’ve learned several things from
this consultation," said the Rev. Jane Dempsey Douglass, who led
the group in its final phase of work on what it handed over to
the CER. Dempsey Douglass is professor emerita of Princeton
Theological Seminary and a former president of the World
Alliance of Reformed Churches.
Being proactive rather than reactive, the
realities of a changing religious landscape in America, and
building close personal relationships out of which close
ecumenical relationships grow were part of the consultation
The group’s conclusions stemmed from a desire
by many participants to create a "bold" document for the
denomination that speaks in language understandable outside the
"It’s all the same old stuff," the Rev. Jack
Baca said after reading the initial document. What would be bold
is to find ways to talk to the various faith communities now
part of the religious landscape and "invite them into the
conversation," he said. "If the denomination just keeps talking
to itself, we’ll just keep getting what we’ve gotten," said
Baca, senior pastor of Village Community Presbyterian Church in
Rancho Santa Fe, CA. "We need to reach out into all different
kinds of theological directions."
The Rev. Eileen Lindner, deputy general
secretary for research and planning for the National Council of
Churches of Christ in the USA, outlined four "adaptive patterns
of emerging ecclesiologies" that are now features on the
American religious landscape.
Megachurches, theological affinity groups, the
broadening role of parachurch organizations and the emergent
church "have been selected because each, it will be argued, has
implications for how the quest for Christian unity is perceived
and the ecumenical calling lived out," she said in her paper,
"Issues of Post-denominational Identities and Emerging
Lindner said a "recalibration" in the way the
PC(USA) and other communions have historically engaged in
ecumenism might be necessary in light of the emerging patterns.
"Will persons we see as ‘other’ have a place
among us only if they become one of us?" the Rev. Jay Rock, the
PC(USA)’s coordinator of interfaith relations, asked in his
paper, "Is Christian Unity a Catalyst for Human Community?
Interfaith Relations and the Ecumenical Movement."
"Can we learn to be guests in the house of
others? Can we and those ‘others’ learn to be guests together in
the world house?" continued Rock.
Bishop Earl McCloud Jr., ecumenical affairs
officer for the African Methodist Episcopal Church, cautioned
the group during a panel discussion on perspectives from outside
the PC(USA) that before the denomination takes its message
ecumenically, "you must be clear about that ecumenical message
The other panelists joining McCloud were Mercy
Oduyoye, director of the Institute of African Women in Religion
and Culture at Trinity Theological Seminary in Ghana, and the
Rev. Kim Yong Bok of the Presbyterian Church of Korea.
McCloud stressed understanding what "undergirds"
the ecumenical stances of the Presbyterian Church, and
challenged the denomination to stand firm in that so "a little
wind does not blow your foundation completely away."
"You must stand for justice in God’s word,"
McCloud said. "And in standing, you must speak truth to power."
Simultaneously, McCloud encouraged the formation of close
individual relationships in order to ultimately form close
ecumenical relationships. He explained that people want to know
first and foremost "that you care," and then they can
take seriously the things you care about. "The church is at its
best," he added, "when we walk together ... and don’t get
Kirkpatrick lauded for
leadership as he decides not to seek another term at
Presbyterian Church (USA)
World Alliance of Reformed Churches
11 September 2007
Clifton Kirkpatrick was praised as a leader of
vision and courage following his announcement that he would not
seek a fourth term as stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church
(USA). His current term ends in June 2008.
Kirkpatrick made his plans known this week,
saying he wanted to spend quality time with his family and
devote more energy to his role as president of the World
Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC).
Setri Nyomi, general secretary of WARC, said
in a 11 September letter to Kirkpatrick that the Reformed family
worldwide is grateful for his ministry at the Presbyterian
Church (USA), WARC and in the wider ecumenical movement.
"I have experienced you as a person of deep
faith, biblical and theological depth of understanding, vision,
courage and leadership skills. I have personally been inspired
in my ministry by how these values have been combined in you to
give expression to your leadership.
"This has been a great gift, not only for the
Presbyterian Church (USA), but also for WARC and the ecumenical
movement as a whole (including the World Council of Churches and
your time on its Central and Executive committees).
"Your years as a member of WARC's Executive
Committee, and since 2004 as our president, have been a blessing
for the Alliance. Your visionary leadership and pastoral care
for those who serve the Alliance continue to move us in our
commitment to being God's instruments spiritually for the
transformation of the world.
"We thank God for your continuing leadership,"
In his announcement, Kirkpatrick said serving
as the stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has offered
him an opportunity to use his gifts and passion for a church he
loves on important issues.
"It has been a tremendous privilege to give
voice to the witness of our church to the gospel and to justice
and peace in the world, to be a leader in the ecumenical
movement, to guide the church (even in our contentions) toward
unity in diversity, to uphold our Constitution, and to pioneer
in new ways to express old truth as we seek to discern the mind
of Christ and develop a polity and a church for the 21st
Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) brings together 75
million Reformed Christians in 214 churches in 107 countries -
united in their commitment to making a difference in a troubled
world. The WARC general secretary is Rev. Dr. Setri Nyomi of the
Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana. WARC's secretariat is
based in Geneva, Switzerland.
about WARC >>
Clifton Kirkpatrick will not seek fourth
term as Stated Clerk
of the General Assembly has announced that the Rev. Clifton
Kirkpatrick, stated clerk of the General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has decided not to seek another
term as stated clerk.
Kirkpatrick's current term
will conclude at the end of the 218th General Assembly (2008) in
San Jose, CA, next June.
full announcement and Kirkpatrick’s own statement >>
Jim Wallis to Presbyterian evangelism
Spiritual renewal can and must lead to social
Wallis, president and executive director of
Sojourners/Call to Renewal, said that "spiritual activity
doesn't mean revival until it changes something in society.
Conversely, we won't get to social justice in America and the
world unless and until we have a revival of faith."
THE "SOCIAL CREED" AFTER A HUNDRED YEARS:
TIME FOR A NEW SOCIAL AWAKENING
by Gene TeSelle, Witherspoon Issues Analyst
We are fast approaching the hundredth anniversary of the
so-called Social Creed of the Churches, adopted in 1908 at the
founding of the Federal Council of Churches. It was a dramatic
statement by what we have come to call "the public church."
Currently the Methodists and the Presbyterians, as well as the
National Council of Churches, are looking ahead to an
We cannot help noting the similarities between 1908 and 2008.
Inequalities of income and wealth in the U.S. are now greater
than they have been since the "Gilded Age" of the late
nineteenth century. Corporate and government scandals are
approaching the same level, too. Many of the principles
enunciated in the Social Creed and in the general mood of the
Progressive Era, such as a "living wage" sufficient to support a
family, are being reasserted; but they are also regarded as
unfeasible by many shapers of public opinion today.
There are also significant differences. The problems addressed
by the Social Creed were national in scope; because these
problems could not be addressed adequately at the local or state
level, new kinds of federal legislation were advocated and
eventually adopted. In our own day we see a further broadening
of scope as the much-celebrated globalization of the economy
brings all the workers of the world into potential competition
with each other and requires a new kind of global response.
The rest of
this essay >>
More perspectives on Vatican declaration on doctrine of the
Witherspooner Nancy Weatherwax has sent a note
suggesting two other views to complement
statement given last week by Stated Clerk Clifton Kirkpatrick.
I suggest that you add a link to the
excellent Catholic News Service article on this issue that
will provide readers with a fuller understanding of the
Catholic position, especially Cardinal Kasper's statement
that "one should not skim over what the declaration affirms
in a positive way about the Protestant churches, and that is
that Jesus Christ is effectively present in them for the
of their members." The article, by Cindy Wooden, is entitled
"Protestant groups dismayed at new document on identity of
There are also some
perceptive and helpful brief comments from Ann Riggs,
National Council of Churches Associate General Secretary for
Faith and Order.
Nancy Weatherwax is
currently living in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Remembering and celebrating the life of
Presbyterian theologian Letty Russell
The Rev. Letty Mandeville
Russell, one of the world's foremost feminist theologians and
longtime member of the Yale Divinity School faculty, died July
12 at her home in Guilford, CT. She was 77.
Russell was one of the first
women ordained in the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.
and served the East Harlem Protestant Parish in New York City
from 1952-68, including 10 years as pastor of the Presbyterian
Church of the Ascension. She joined the faculty of Yale Divinity
School in 1974 and served there until her retirement in 2001. In
retirement, she continued to teach some courses at Yale Divinity
School as a visiting professor.
The rest of
the report from Presbyterian News Service >>
More Light Presbyterians issued this statement on July 13, 2007:
Celebrating the Life, Ministry & Legacy of Letty Russell
Yesterday we lost one of the most valiant and thoughtful
theologians, teachers, writers, visionaries and spirits of our
generation, the beloved Letty Russell. More Light Presbyterians
gives thanks for the life, ministry and legacy of Letty Russell,
and we extend our condolence and prayers to her beloved partner
MLP statement >>
Stated Clerk issues statement to Presbyterians concerning
latest Vatican declaration
Catholic leadership has 'mischaracterized' faith
Louisville – July 11, 2007 [posted here
7-18-07] – Clifton Kirkpatrick, General Assembly stated clerk of
the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has issued an open letter to
Presbyterians joining other churches and ecumenical groups in
questioning a recent pronouncement by the Vatican that
Protestant churches "are not churches in the proper sense."
Kirkpatrick said the July 10 statement, which
the Vatican said was endorsed by Pope Benedict XVI,
"mischaracterizes our faith" and "reopens questions of Christian
text of Kirkpatrick’s letter >>
Evangelical Presbyterian Church approves plan to welcome
congregations leaving PC(USA)
Presbyterian Layman reports:
In a series of stunning votes,
commissioners to the 27th General Assembly of the
Evangelical Presbyterian Church on Friday morning
overwhelmingly approved a plan to create non-geographic,
transitional presbyteries to receive congregations seeking
to join the denomination.
[From your WebWeaver: We’re not quite
sure what was "stunning" about the votes, but anyway ...]
The rest of the story >>
Here’s another report, from The Christian Post >>
A note from your WebWeaver:
This formation of a new "place to go" for
congregations leaving the Presbyterian Church (USA) is
regrettable in many ways, but it seems important that
Presbyterians who are not involved in this exodus pay attention
to it, and seek to understand it.
If you have first-hand observations or
comments to share, or can suggest other reports that are worth
please send a note, to be shared here.
The polity struggles continue
Is some resolution
Witherspoon Issues Analyst Gene
TeSelle recently surveyed some of the ways presbyteries have
begun to defy the Authoritative Interpretation adopted by the
217th General Assembly last summer.
He predicted that the various
Permanent Judicial Commissions would not look favorably on these
attempts by presbyteries to create their own creeds, or make
selective interpretations of the Constitution, or prejudge
matters that call for subtle discernment in particular cases.
Now two decisions by synod PJCs suggest that his prediction was
His new discussion of the issue and of the new decisions >>
A quick look at our Presbyterian "culture wars"
The Rev. John Shuck, whose
always-interesting blog we’ve mentioned before, has just
written a super-condensed survey of the state of the
Presbyterian Church (USA), putting our current struggles in
clear perspective. John is pastor of First Presbyterian
Church of Elizabethton, TN.
Here is a little introduction to church
politics in the Presbyterian Church (USA). The so-called
"Culture Wars" blaze through various church denominations. I
thought I would take this time to introduce you to one of
the movements in the Presbyterian Church. It has its cousins
in other denominations such as the Methodist and Episcopal
churches. On one hand, it is about internal denominational
politics. But on the other hand, it is a larger part of a
move toward theocracy in the United States.
of his essay >>
Sacramento Presbytery effort to reverse GA’s Authoritative
Presbyterian Outlook reports that efforts
by the Presbytery of Sacramento to nullify the action of the
2006 General Assembly, which affirmed the right of conscience
for candidates for ordination. The Permanent Judicial Commission
of the Synod of the Pacific ruled that all four policies adopted
by the presbytery either violated the spirit of the
Authoritative Interpretation adopted by the Assembly, or
violated basic principles of Presbyterian Church such as
connectionalism, respect for individual conscience and for the
discernment exercised by individual congregations.
See the report on the Outlook website >>
Registration is required to see the complete story – but it’s
The full decision is posted on the Synod website >>
Letter, resource material to combat information from New
Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE – June
14, 2007 – In an effort to address material from the New
Wineskins Association of Churches (NWAC) that "mischaracterizes"
the convictions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), top
officials with the denomination have sent a letter and resource
material out to middle governing body leadership.
General Assembly Council Executive Director
Linda Valentine and stated clerk the Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick
jointly penned a letter to executive presbyters and stated
clerks, available at
www.pcusa.org/mgbconnect, in an effort to deal
with information presented by NWAC in its document, "A Time for
Every Purpose Under Heaven: Report of the Strategy Team of the
New Wineskins Association of Churches."
The rest of the report, and the letter >>
Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church
dismissed to EPC
Tennessee congregation gets its property
too in leaving PC(USA) [6-4-07]
LOUISVILLE – June 1, 2007 – East Tennessee Presbytery has voted
to dismiss Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church (SMPC) - property
and all - from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), clearing the
way for the large congregation to affiliate with the Evangelical
Presbyterian Church (EPC).
Dismissal of the 1,800-member church in Signal
Mountain, TN, was approved during a specially called presbytery
meeting on Tuesday (May 29) at Farragut Presbyterian Church in
report from Presbyterian News Service >>
Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy sends new E-MEMO UPDATE
ACSWP is broadening its
e-mailing list, and will be sending update notes on its work "several times
a year." According to the Rev. Dr. Chris Iosso, Coordinator of the Advisory
Committee, "We also welcome suggestions of topics or notice of developments
[of] which reflective social justice practitioners should be apprised. We
plan to communicate as well with past Church & Society Magazine
subscribers on new ways to communicate the ethics work and thinking of the
This first memo includes notes on ACSWP’s report to GAC;
current work on the new Social Creed; the Ghost Ranch Week for Peace and
Justice; globalization; Iraq; the planned fall consultation on Peacemaking,
Religion, Violence and Terrorism; environmental concerns; and energy.
To join this e-list, send a blank e-mail message to
For more on the Advisory Committee on Social Witness
Policy, go to
Click here for the
full E-Memo Update >>
More staff cuts in Louisville:|
Office of the General Assembly announces reorganization
Seven staff positions eliminated to ease 2008 budget shortfall
The Office of the General Assembly (OGA)
announced plans today for a reorganization of the agency’s work,
effective immediately. Cliff Kirkpatrick, Stated Clerk of the
General Assembly, made the announcement, which will involve the
elimination of seven staff positions.
Suburban Chicago elder tapped as PC(USA)'s communication
and funds-development officer
Senior GAC leadership complete with appointment of
Karen Schmidt [3-13-07]
The slate of top-level leaders in the newly-restructured
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Council (GAC) is now complete
with the hiring of Elder Karen L. Schmidt as Deputy Executive Director for
Communication and Funds Development.
Schmidt, a Presbyterian elder from Glen Ellyn, IL, has
more than 25 years experience as a senior executive with Fortune 500 and
other high-powered companies. She is a member of First Presbyterian Church
in Glen Ellyn, IL, pastored by conservative evangelical leader the Rev.
full story from Presbyterian News Service >>
|As some New Wineskins congregations
move toward separation from the PC(USA) ...
This is obviously a
development of concern to all of us in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and
one which calls for thought and reflection on all sides. We offer
here, for starters, three essays on this movement for separation, along
with a brief sketch of the background of the matter.
|Gene TeSelle, Witherspoon's Issues Analyst, lays out
options that seem to getting serious consideration among the
|TeSelle also gives a brief look
background of these developments.|
Wineskins 2007, a member of the Witherspoon board, gives his
personal view that the movement toward separation looks more like
"whining" about things the conservatives don't like, than a real move
for faithfulness. |
Wineskins 2007 views these developments through his knowledge of the
Civil War, and says to those who would separate, "Leave if you must ...
but not on my dime."|
|For more background, you might look at the
News Service report on the New Wineskins conference in February.|
|See also our reports on the
Convocation in 2005.|
If you have comments of your own,
or would suggest other comments on this matter,
please send us a
to be shared here.
Presbytery and synod execs, facing difficult times, are encouraged to
move from reactive space and to ask "adaptive" questions to solve problems
quick-fix, technical outline for the future of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
synods and presbyteries was arrived at during a recent two-day meeting in
Albuquerque, but that was precisely as the meeting's facilitator intended.
Coming to these gatherings looking for a solution assumes
there is a technical solution, but "deep change requires adaptive work,"
said the Rev. Gilbert Rendle. Instead, we need to sit together "and ask
full report from Presbyterian News Service >>
Wineskins votes to move ahead with "marriage" to Evangelical Presbyterian
After a yearlong courtship, a formal engagement between
the New Wineskins Association of Churches (NWAC) and the Evangelical
Presbyterian Church (EPC) was agreed to on Friday, Feb. 9.
The NWAC, a group of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
congregations unhappy with the state of the denomination, voted
unanimously on Feb. 9 to petition the EPC to create a non-geographic,
transitional New Wineskins presbytery (NWEPC) for those churches wishing
to leave the PC(USA).
leadership writes to congregations about apparent intent of some
congregations to leave the denomination
Clifton Kirkpatrick, the
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, and Linda Bryant Valentine,
Executive Director, General Assembly Council, have sent a joint letter to
all PC(USA) congregations, declaring their regret at the apparent intent
of a few congregations to withdraw from the denomination, and affirming
that "we are better together than we are apart."
Their cover letter
to pastors >>
to all congregations >>
Analysis of proposed Constitutional Amendments
Bill Lancaster, associate for mission
of Foothills presbytery in Greenville, S.C., is publishing in Outlook
his analysis of the Constitutional Amendments that are going to the
presbyteries for their consideration and action.
Only eight proposed amendments to the Constitution have
been sent to the presbyteries for ratification, but one of them, called
Amendments A, is a revision of the entire Chapter XIV of the Book of Order.
The amendments booklet has been mailed to presbyteries and is available
Read Lancaster’s analysis >>
Click here for all
the more recent stories on the PC(USA).
Earlier stories are indexed:
ratified (or not) by the presbyteries
A number of the most important actions of the 219th
General Assembly are now being sent to the presbyteries for their
action, to confirm or reject them as amendments to the PC(USA) Book
We're providing resources to help inform the
reflection and debate, along with updates on the voting.
Our three areas of primary interest are:
which would remove the current ban on
lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender persons being considered as
possible candidates for ordination as elder or ministers.|
which would add the Belhar Confession to our Book of
10-1, which would adopt the new Form of Government
that was approved by the Assembly. |
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Some blogs worth visiting
Mitch Trigger, PVJ's
Secretary/Communicator, has created a Facebook page where
Witherspoon members and others can gather to exchange news and
views. Mitch and a few others have posted bits of news, both
personal and organizational. But there’s room for more!
You can post your own news and views,
or initiate a conversation about a topic of interest to you.
Voices of Sophia blog
Heather Reichgott, who has created
this new blog for Voices of Sophia, introduces it:
After fifteen years of scholarship
and activism, Voices of Sophia presents a blog. Here, we present the
voices of feminist theologians of all stripes: scholars, clergy,
students, exiles, missionaries, workers, thinkers, artists, lovers
and devotees, from many parts of the world, all children of the God
in whose image women are made. .... This blog seeks to glorify God
through prayer, work, art, and intellectual reflection. Through
articles and ensuing discussion we hope to become an active and
John Harris’ Summit to
Theological and philosophical
reflections on everything between summit to shore, including
kayaking, climbing, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology,
politics, culture, travel, The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), New
York City and the Queens neighborhood of Ridgewood by a progressive
New York City Presbyterian Pastor. John is a former member of the
Witherspoon board, and is designated pastor of North Presbyterian
Church in Flushing, NY.
John Shuck’s Shuck and Jive
A Presbyterian minister, currently
serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton,
Tenn., blogs about spirituality, culture, religion (both organized
and disorganized), life, evolution, literature, Jesus, and
Got more blogs to recommend?
send a note, and we'll see what we can do!