A fresh wind seems to be blowing these days. We see it in the decisive election of President Barack Obama to a second term and in the confirmation of marriage equality in Maine, Maryland and Washington state, along with the defeat of a restrictive constitutional amendment on marriage in Minnesota. We also see it in my church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), as we adjust to the opening of ordination to all qualified and called members (including our LGBT faithful) and in the first-ever discussion of same-sex marriage at our bi-annual General Assembly.2012 has certainly served up the potential for a momentous 2013 even as we recognize that there are still formidable challenges before us.
The 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is written in the Book of Life. I was present in a far different way than I envisioned, as my husband’s sudden health problems and multiple surgeries meant resignation as a commissioner (he is recovering nicely—THANKS for your prayers!). However, since GA was in my hometown, I was able to attend some committee meetings and the events held by More Light Presbyterians. I also watched the assembly on its live internet streaming, particularly when it took up the recommendations of the Civil Union and Marriage Committee.
With an immensely heavy heart for a host of reasons, I have informed the Stated Clerk that I am stepping down from standing for the office of moderator of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
As I have pondered this notion of “standing for moderator,” another meaning of the phrase has emerged for me: that the whole church stand for the office of the moderator. That means, for me, that we all embody the leadership, unity, and hope that are so central to our church family and our Presbyterian tradition. If you have prayers, stories, or a vision for our unity, please share them with me.
In October, the Nominating Committee of Pittsburgh Presbytery placed my name in nomination for teaching elder commissioner to the 220th General Assembly of the PCUSA that will convene here in Pittsburgh at the end of June 2012.