Biographical information on members of the Special Committee on Correcting Translation Problems of the Heidelberg Catechism

February 12, 2009

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The 218th General Assembly (2008) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) called for the formation of a Special Committee on Correcting Translation Problems of the Heidelberg Catechism. The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, Moderator of the 218th GA, has named the following individuals to serve on the committee.

The Rev. Heidi Husted Armstrong has been parish associate for preaching and worship at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Tacoma, Wash., since 2007. She previously served several pastorates in Washington and California, as the Christian impact director at World Vision U.S., and is currently preacher and worship leader for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Northwest Detention Center.

The Rev. Warner M. Bailey is director of Presbyterian studies and adjunct professor of polity at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University. He is also the parish associate at St. Stephen Presbyterian Church in Fort Worth, Texas. Bailey has served as moderator of the Committee on the Brief Statement of Faith at the 201st General Assembly (1989) and moderator of the Committee on Bills and Overtures of the 213th General Assembly (2001).

Elder Dawn DeVries is professor of systematic theology at Union Theological Seminary-Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Va. She is a prolific writer, editor, and translator. In the mid-1990s, she served on the Special Committee on Catechisms that produced new non-constitutional catechisms for the PC(USA).

Elder Sylvia Dooling has served Mountain View Presbyterian Church in Loveland, Colo., as both elder and deacon. She led Bible study for 24 years at her congregation and has also been active in Boulder Presbytery, having served as vice moderator and currently on the Committee on Preparation for Ministry and presbytery’s Council.

The Rev. James Edwards is professor of theology at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash., teaching biblical languages — Hebrew and Greek — and biblical studies, especially New Testament. A prolific author and traveler, particularly to German-speaking countries and the Middle East, Edwards leads a weekly adult Sunday school class at his home congregation.

The Rev. Christopher Elwood is professor of historical theology at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, specializing in the history and theology of the 16th-century Reformation. He has written several works on the origins of Reformed theological traditions, including the widely read Calvin for Armchair Theologians.

The Rev. Gary Hansen is assistant professor of church history at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in Iowa. He is on the board of the Calvin Studies Society and is a regular presenter at the annual Sixteenth Century Studies Conference. Hansen previously served as stated supply pastor of Hillsborough Presbyterian Church in Belle Mead, N.J.

Elder Susan Haskell is a teacher and helps lead local and international mission work for her congregation in Birmingham, Ala. She is on the board of Columbia Theological Seminary and has served as moderator of the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley, on its Committee on Preparation for Ministry, and on the Committee on Local Arrangements for the 2006 General Assembly.

Elder Patrick Hunt is a teacher of archaeology at Stanford University. He has written 10 books and 50 articles ranging on topics from ancient history to biblical literature. Hunt regularly appears on The History Channel, the National Geographic Channel’s “Explorer,” and PBS. He has recently won an award for his contributions to the History Channel’s “Engineering an Empire Series: Persia and Carthage.”

Elder David Todd Mulford is a risk strategist for Louisiana Companies and Assurex Global, where he helps clients design, implement, and maintain risk strategies for their businesses. He has completed Commissioned Lay Pastor training for the Presbytery of South Louisiana and has preached at several churches there. Mulford was an elder commissioner to the 218th General Assembly (2008).

The Rev. Shelly Barrick Parsons is the Presbyterian campus pastor at West Virginia University and the director of the university’s Campus Ministry Center. She is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary-Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Va. Her areas of greatest interest are Reformed hermeneutics and Christian education.

The Rev. Neal Presa (chairperson of the committee) is pastor of Middlesex Presbyterian Church in Middlesex, N.J, and is completing a Ph.D. dissertation in liturgical studies at Drew University in Madison, N.J. He is convener/chairman of the Caribbean and North American Area Council of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. Presa has also served as vice-chair of the General Assembly Council and as a member of the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly.

The Rev. Lorna Shoemaker is director of the library and professor of the history of global Christianity at Christian Theological Seminary (Disciples of Christ) in Indianapolis. Currently working on her Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., Shoemaker has served in parish ministry and as a staff associate for Women’s Ministries for the PC(USA).

The Rev. David Stubbs has taught at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Mich., for eight years. He has been involved with the PC(USA) at all levels, including several study groups of the Office of Theology and Worship. He has published and presented papers in several areas in theology and ethics and is working on a project about the Reformed theology of the Eucharist.

The Rev. Floretta Watkins is a fourth-generation Presbyterian who has served the church as an ordained minister since 1993, working in campus ministry and two pastorates. She now works with a multicultural congregation in Charlotte, N.C. Watkins is also the managing partner of Leadership Acuity, which is affiliated with the Leadership Management Institute in Waco, Texas.

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