Here we go: The first team to stand for co-moderators of the 2018 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has emerged.
Eliana Maxim, associate executive presbyter of Seattle Presbytery and a vice moderator of the Way Forward Commission, announced on Facebook and Twitter Dec. 3 that she will stand for co-moderator along with Bertram Johnson, who is minister of justice, advocacy and change at Riverside Church in New York.
Both are PC(USA) ministers and people of color. Maxim has served as vice moderator of the PC(USA)’s National Hispanic/Latino Presbyterian Caucus.
Maxim said Seattle Presbytery has endorsed her to stand for co-moderator. She said Johnson is a member of the Presbytery of New York City, which will consider his request for endorsement when it meets in January.
Johnson, who is 47, earned a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and was ordained in 2014; Maxim earned the same degree from Seattle University and was ordained in 2011.
Johnson, who is gay, graduated from Princeton Seminary in 1996, at a time when the PC(USA) was deeply conflicted about whether to ordain gays and lesbians who were not celibate. He described his journey towards ordination in this 2015 sermon given at a regional conference of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians.
Maxim is married to Alex Maxim; they are the parents of young adult children.
The 2018 General Assembly will meet June 16-23 in St. Louis.
Editor’s note: This story will be updated as more information becomes available.