The General Assembly Council has approved a mission budget for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for 2009 and 2010 that does not call for layoffs, but would use $7 million in reserves to balance the budget and would require the denomination to raise $2.1 million in new funding for world mission in each of the next two years.
Moving briskly and with little discussion, the General Assembly Council dispensed with a plateful of business April 25 — including passing a budget for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for 2009 and 2010.
Dr. Donald Macleod served as a mentor and friend when I began studies at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1969. This Scottish Presbyterian revered Psalm100 as an international anthem of God's gracious friendship towards humankind. Its crescendo rises at the grand finale of praise: For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to the end of the ages.
When Donald Macleod stood by you, a student in his class knew this professor seldom fell away as a fair-weather friend. . We saw ourselves as "Macleod's Men," though the language may be sexist, it's how we described ourselves on campus when few women studied for ministry. He received telephone contacts from a myriad of Search Committees looking to fill their pulpits. When "Dr. Mac" extolled the strengths of one of his "men," Pastoral Search Committees seemingly treated Macleod's inventory of candidates as the very voice of the Lord.
Presidential contender Mike Huckabee, an ordained preacher in the Southern Baptist Convention, adores its theology. Born-again Jimmy Carter deplores it. Carter severed Southern Baptist ties in which he was raised because some leaders snarled like roaring lions at other Christians. Recruiting former president Bill Clinton, another Southern Baptist, Carter has cobbled together a coalition of Christians disgruntled with a denomination that keeps women in their place, strictly behind their men.
Outlook Editor Jack Haberer recently sat down with PC(USA) Stated Clerk Clifton Kirkpatrick to discuss some of the pressing issues in the church. This is the first of a three-part account of the conversation, but the entire interview is now available online at the link below:
LOUISVILLE -- In some ways, the anniversaries of women's ordination that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is in the midst of celebrating this year -- 100 years for deacons, 75 years for elders, 50 years for ministers -- are momentous, historic events.
And in other ways they are like a panorama of smaller stories -- layers of personal remembrances, snippets of impressions, allegories laden with history and meaning and politics.
Some are funny stories -- such as when a class of five women arrived at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1980 and found urinals in the women's restrooms and potted plants in the urinals.
Some are painful -- the stories of women who felt called by God to serve at a time when the church said, "Absolutely not."
And some tell folks that as far as the church has come, there are still young women, and women of color, and lesbians who want to be ordained, and mature women scarred by the fighting, who would say the Presbyterian church hasn't come nearly far enough.
John H. "Jack" Haberer Jr., noted Houston pastor and denominational leader, has been named the new editor-in-chief of The Presbyterian Outlook magazine effective December 12, the Presbyterian Outlook Foundation has announced.
Twenty-seven former General Assembly moderators have signed a letter endorsing the re-election of Clifton Kirkpatrick as stated clerk of the Office of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
The letter, which was initiated by former moderator Marj Carpenter, an elder from Big Spring, Texas, says that Kirkpatrick has done "an excellent job under very difficult circumstances and much pressure."