A Historic Perspective on the Role of Stated Clerk

The office of Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is many faceted and seldom understood. Anyone elected to this position must wear many hats and wear them well.

As commissioners prepare for the election of the stated clerk at this year’s General Assembly in Richmond, Va., some historical background on the complexity of this office may be useful.

Three vie to become first moderator to serve two-year term in PC(USA)

Two pastors and one elder have been nominated for moderator of the 216th General Assembly, which will meet June 26-July 3 in Richmond, Va. This year's election, on the evening of June 26, will be unique in that because of the switch to biennial General Assemblies, the moderator will serve a two-year term.
As in years past, The Outlook asked each nominee to provide a brief biographical sketch and to answer three questions from the editor. That information and their answers follow in alphabetical order by last name.

Crowded field of evangelicals challenges incumbant stated clark

Passion, drama and Presbyterian? Those aren’t often words used in the same sentence.

Folks can get right worked up over the sports playoffs, politics and the price of gas, the return of the cicadas (and of Prince), carbs vs. fats.

But the stated clerk’s election in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)? Why get hot and bothered over that?

Reflections on the 2003 PC(USA) Statistics

The Office of the General Assembly has just completed the collation of the 2003 statistics for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). While the numbers will be readily available to all, the figures themselves do not tell the whole story. Underneath these statistics are real live Presbyterians, who make up our churches and who are faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. The fact that there are fewer active members in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) than a year ago should call us to prayer and repentance.

The PC(USA) and the Messianic Jewish Movement

In late 2003, a Messianic Jewish congregation, Avodat Yisrael, was approved within the PC(USA) by the presbytery of Philadelphia. In response to the possibility of Jews, who also believe in Jesus, evangelizing other Jews, a group of concerned Presbyterians organized. They were led by Cynthia Jarvis, also of the Philadelphia presbytery.

Presbyterian – In Name Only?

Every year I try to explain "Orwellian" to my students. I end up with something like "a systematic perversion of language to hide what is real and replace it with an illusion — an illusion that is often the exact opposite of the reality. Its long-term effects are, first, a sense of unreality, then, cynicism, and finally, apathy and despair." I might do better just to hand them The Presbyterian Outlook's annual Higher Education Issue.

Church-related higher education revisited

Do you need to be told that even such modest attainments
As you can boast of in the way of polite society
Will hardly survive the Faith to which they owe their significance?

— T. S. Eliot, choruses From "The Rock"’

The debate raised in this issue of The Outlook about how "Christian" a church-related college is (or should be) is no stranger to these pages.


Bill Coffin is a man of intrepid one-liners and steadfast, exuberant faith. "Credo, I believe," as he says in the preface of this slim volume, "best translates 'I have given my heart to.'" (p. xv). Or, I would venture, two hearts. What comes through clearly in this compilation of sentences and paragraphs is God's incredible love for us, all of us, and, in gratitude, one person's giving of his "heart to the teaching and example of Christ" (ibid).

Presbytery calls on Presbyterian College to halt implementation of proposed changes

Trinity Presbytery passed a resolution Tuesday, June 1, expressing concern with the proposed changes in Presbyterian College's educational program.

The resolution — drafted by a minister-member of the presbytery and amended by the presbytery's general council — was
amended by the presbytery to include a call for Presbyterian College to “halt the implementation” of the proposed changes and calls for the formation of a consultation at the synod level "concerning what it means, in a practical sense, for Presbyterian College to be ' ... a church-related institution committed to the Christian faith,' and a college 'related to the Christian Church' in the context of the Presbyterian Church (USA)."

The Purpose of Reformed Worship

There is division among us over what constitutes authentic Reformed worship. I have witnessed this firsthand while — as moderator of the worship planning work group for the Committee on Local Arrangements for the 216th General Assembly — balancing competing demands of representation and inclusivity for the Assembly in Richmond in four weeks. The variety of Presbyterian worship today is extraordinary. We’ve made choices.

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