Biographical information on members of Special Committee to Study Issues of Civil Union and Christian Marriage

March 13, 2009

Louisville

The 218th General Assembly (2008) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) called for the formation of a Special Committee to Study Issues of Civil Union and Christian Marriage. The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, Moderator of the 218th GA, has named the following individuals to serve on the committee.

The Rev. Clayton F. Allard has served as pastor of Oak Cliff Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas, for six years. A Christian convert, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the College of Wooster in 1986 and from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1989. While there, he was awarded the John Galloway Prize in Expository Preaching.

The Rev. Emily J. Anderson has been pastor of New Providence Presbyterian Church in Maryville, Tenn., since 1999. She is co-author of a confirmation curriculum based on the Study Catechism and was co-moderator of the Task Force on Priorities and Structures for the Presbytery of East Tennessee. Anderson has also served on the Committee on Ministry and Committee on Preparation in the Tampa Bay and East Tennessee presbyteries.

The Rev. Earl Arnold is supply pastor for Whitelaw Presbyterian Church in Canastota, N.Y. He recently completed 12 years as stated clerk of the Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse. He also served for four years as stated clerk of the Synod of the Northeast. Arnold has served 18 years in the parish and a decade at Cornell University as staff for the Eco-Justice project and later as campus minister.

The Rev. Margaret Aymer Oget is assistant professor of New Testament at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, which includes the PC(USA)-related Johnson C. Smith Seminary. A member of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, she serves on the Health Committee and the Committee for Preparation on Ministry. Aymer is the author of “First Pure, Then Peaceable: Frederick Douglass, Darkness and the Epistle of James” and “Repairers of the Breach,” a Bible study written for the 2006 PHEWA conference. In 2011, she will author the Horizons Bible Study on the Beatitudes.

Elder Luis Antonio (Tony) De La Rosa is associate counsel for L.A. Health Care Plan. As a civil litigator, his career has focused on protecting the rights of traditionally disadvantaged people. He is also clerk of Session at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, a Spanish/English bilingual congregation in Los Angeles. On the national level, De La Rosa has been a member of the Advisory Committee on Litigation and the Special Committee on Churchwide Compensation Policy. He is a graduate of Yale Divinity and Law schools.

Emily W. Miller is a third-year Master of Divinity student at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. A 2005 graduate of Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Va., she served as a Young Adult Volunteer with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in Miami before entering seminary.

Elder Katina Miner works as an employment lawyer in San Francisco. A member of Mission Bay Community Church there, she serves as the church’s elder of administration and support. Miner is a native of Minneapolis and attended college in Chicago and law school at the University of California at Berkeley.

Elder Stephen L. Salyards is an IT manager, earthquake geologist and adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles. He attends La Verne Heights Presbyterian Church in La Verne, Calif. Salyards has served San Gabriel Presbytery as a member and chair of the Committee on Ministry, as elder cral Assembly (2008).

Elder Lisa Cooper Van Riper is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Greenville, S.C., where she has also served as a teacher, deacon, elder and member of the Pastor Search Committee. A graduate of Furman University anommissioner to the 209th General Assembly (1997) and as moderator of the presbytery. He is currently moderator of the Synod of Southern California and Hawaii.

The Rev. Tracie Mayes Stewart earned her Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary-Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Va., and was ordained in 1995. Her husband is also a Presbyterian minister, and she served as a new church development co-pastor with him until her children were born. She now works part-time in educational ministry and has written three Bible studies. Stewart served as a commissioner to the 212th General Assembly (2000).

The Rev. James (Jim) Szeyller (chairperson of the committee) is pastor at Carmel Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, N.C. A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, Syeyller is particularly interested in using missional church theology as a tool for church revitalization and growth.

The Rev. William (Bill) Teng is pastor at Heritage Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, Va. Born and raised in Hong Kong, he is a fourth-generation Presbyterian minister who has also served congregations in New York, Texas and Washington, D.C. He is a member of the National Capital Presbytery Council and was moderator of National Capital Presbytery in 2004. Teng was a candidate for moderator of the 218th Gene

d the University of South Carolina, Van Riper has career experience as a teacher, adjunct professor, staffer at Greenville County Council, interim director of Greenville YWCA and executive director of Putting Families First, a social service agency there.

Derrick Weston is the mission advancement manager for the Pittsburgh Project, an urban community development ministry in that city. He earned his Master of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary and is a candidate for ministry in Pittsburgh Presbytery. He studied film at the University of Pittsburgh.

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