The Task Force will first meet Dec. 6-8. The task force is to make a progress report to the General Assembly in each of the next three years and to make a final report to presbyteries and sessions not later than the 217th General Assembly (2005).
The members are:
Elizabeth R. Achtemeier is retired adjunct professor of Bible and homiletics at Union Seminary in Virginia. [James Presbytery]
Elder Scott D. Anderson is executive director of the California Council of Churches. [Sacramento Presbytery]
Barbara Everitt Bryant is a research scientist, University of Michigan Business School, and from 1989-1993 was director of the U.S. Bureau of the Census. [Detroit Presbytery]
Milton J Coalter is professor of bibliography and research and directs library and information technology services at Louisville Seminary. [Mid-Kentucky Presbytery]
Victoria G. Curtiss is co-pastor of Collegiate church in Ames, Iowa. [North Central Iowa Presbytery]
Gary W. Demarest is the interim pastor of the Glenkirk church, Glendora, Calif. [Santa Barbara Presbytery]
Frances Taylor Gench is professor of New Testament at Union Seminary/PSCE. [Baltimore Presbytery]
Jack Haberer is pastor/head of staff for Clear Lake church in Houston, Texas. [New Covenant Presbytery]
William Stacy Johnson is the Arthur M. Adams Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. [The Pines Presbytery]
Elder Mary Ellen Lawson is the stated clerk and associate for administration in Redstone Presbytery [Redstone Presbytery]
Jong Hyeong Lee is pastor/head of staff of Hanmee church, Itasca, Ill., and former professor of church history at Presbyterian Seminary, Seoul, Korea. [Midwest Hanmi Presbytery]
John B. (Mike) Loudon is the pastor/head of staff at the First church of Lakeland, Fla. [Tampa Bay Presbytery]
Sue Mallory is the executive director of Leadership Training Network and the founding director of the office of Lay Ministries at Brentwood church. [Pacific Presbytery].
Elder Joan Kelley Merritt is a former high school science teacher, a charter member of Newport church, and the moderator-elect of Seattle Presbytery. [Seattle Presbytery]
Lonnie J. Oliver is pastor/head of staff of New Life church and adjunct professor of evangelism and missiology at Johnson C. Smith Seminary/Interdenomational Theological Center. [Greater Atlanta Presbytery]
Martha D. Sadongei is an enrolled member of the Kiowa tribe of Oklahoma, and part-time stated supply serving Central church. [Grand Canyon Presbytery]
Elder Sarah Grace Sanderson, a student at McCormick Seminary, is a candidate for ministry under care in the Muskingum Valley Presbytery. [Muskingum Valley Presbytery]
Elder Jean S. (Jenny) Stoner is a retired interim coordinator of the Office of Global Education and International Leadership Development , Worldwide Ministries Division, PC(USA) [Northern New England Presbytery]
Jose Luis Torres-Milán is pastor/head of staff of Tercera Iglesia Presbiteriana (Third Presbyterian Church) in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. [Presbyterio del Noroeste]
Elder Barbara G. Wheeler is president of Auburn Seminary and director of Auburn’s Center for the Study of Theological Education. [Albany Presbytery]
John Wilkinson serves as pastor of the Third church of Rochester, N.Y. [Genesee Valley Presbytery]
A Letter to the Church regarding the selection
of the Theological Task Force
October 4, 2001
Beloved in Christ:
We were gathered in Louisville on Sept. 11 to finalize the appointments to the Theological Task Force mandated by the 213th General Assembly. When we learned of the tragic events in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania we, like you, were shocked and saddened. Everything changed in that moment and our attention was redirected. With others, we led a service of Scripture, hymns, and prayers in the Presbyterian Center Chapel which was filled with staff and volunteers. We watched national staff immediately mobilize to provide resources to Presbyterians in the most affected areas, to all our congregations, as well as our personnel here and around the world. With you, we celebrate the committed, competent, and compassionate ministry of our national staff. We have been slowed down, given these recent events, in finalizing the task force. Now we are ready to announce the names of the Task Force members chosen to help the church reflect on Amatters that unite and divide usas we move from this time of turmoil into the future to which God calls us in the 21st century.
We are grateful for a wonderful gift to the church. We received over 500 nominations of persons for a 17 member Task force to lead the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in spiritual discernment of our Christian identity. We give thanks for all of those who made nominations and those who were willing to be available for service. It is clear to us that a great host of people have been in prayer for the well being of the church and are prepared to Apromote the peace, unity, and purity of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). We, also, were often in prayer as we tried to be faithful to the request of the church.
We three moderators of the church met together for a total of eight days and many thought-filled nights in addition to reading all of the over 500 letters of nomination and accompanying papers. We first met to reflect on the mandate from the Assembly to clarify in our minds the task, and to develop criteria to guide us in selecting the members. Then, in a second meeting of three days we began the difficult process of selecting 17 persons. Ours was an embarrassment of riches. We could have selected multiple task forces of 17 members, each composed of persons of significant competence. Finally, in order to represent adequately the strengths and diversity needed on the Task Force we have chosen 21 people. Gary Demarest and Jean S. Stoner have agreed to serve as co-moderators.
We believe that the task force members we have chosen represent the heart of this great church. They were chosen as people who can develop a process which includes conferring with synods, presbyteries, and congregations seeking the peace, unity, and purity of the church. The Task Force will assist congregations and governing bodies in a process of discernment that Ashall include but not be limited to issues of Christology, biblical authority and interpretation, ordination standards, and power. In this process, the Task Force will assist congregations and governing bodies throughout the church to Areflect on and discuss matters that unite and divide us. They then may recommend ways by which we can live more faithfully together in the 21st century.
The Task Force will have its first meeting Dec. 6-8. We three moderators will convene and charge them. They will then develop their own processes and focus on the task before them. The Task Force will make an interim report to the 214th General Assembly in 2002 and to each subsequent Assembly prior to their final report to the 217th General Assembly in 2005.
We ask you to remain in prayer for these people who have been willing to give themselves in service on behalf of us all. This is a holy moment, an opportunity for us together, as the body of Christ, to seek the well being of the body and all of its members. Let us join together in supporting this effort that holds great promise for us all.
In Christ’s love,
Jack Rogers, Moderator, 213th General Assembly
Syngman Rhee, Moderator, 212th General Assembly
Freda Gardner, Moderator, 211th General Assembly