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."
TORONTO — Leslie Scanlon, The Outlook's national reporter, and Stann Bailey, its art director, received honors from the Associated Church Press during the organization’s annual meeting here April 18-21.
Scanlon, who has been with The Outlook for four years, received a second-place award in magazine newswriting for her coverage of the Cincinnati Presbytery meeting at which minister Stephen Van Kuiken lost his ordination last summer. (That decision was later overturned by the Covenant Synod PJC.)
PORTLAND — A sprinkling of people wore buttons that said: "Gracious Separation, A Faithful Choice," and a workshop to discuss it was packed, but it was far from clear whether people were just curious about the idea or willing to actually support it. The Presbyterian Coalition board has not endorsed it — it’s presenting options but not pushing openly for any — and the Lay Committee, where the idea reportedly has some support and some opposition, hasn’t voted yet.
Serving as General Assembly Moderator has been one of the high points of our lives. It confirmed our confidence in the thousands of faithful congregations and strengthened our appreciation for the integrity and vitality of our theological heritage, represented most profoundly in the 11 confessional statements in our Book of Confessions.
Church and state may be separate, but sometimes they look strangely similar. The work of the PC(USA)'s 213th General Assembly in Louisville, with its internal elections, passionate floor speeches and host of committees reporting to an over-riding body, was much like that of a state legislature.