Dangerous elders wanted

National Elders Conference part of June ‘Big Tent’ event in Atlanta

May 27, 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn.

The second biennial National Elders Conference will be held in Atlanta, June 11-13 — one of 10 companion conferences that’s part of the Big Tent event.

If you are wondering how to be a dangerous elder, this is the place to be.

Plenary sessions will be led by such well-known Presbyterians as 2004 General Assembly Moderator Joan Gray and Columbia Theological Seminary professor Rodger Nishioka. Bible study will be lead by Freda Gardner.

Workshops topics include “How to be a Dangerous Elder,” led by General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons; “The Elder as Connectional Leader,” “The Elder as Spiritual Leader,” :The Elder as Bible Teacher,” and, most improbably, “Polity with Pizzazz.” 

Other PC(USA) leaders in attendance will be General Assembly Council Executive Director Linda Valentine and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Coordinator Randy Ackley.

Parsons, for one, is excited about the conference. “Elders are some of the most important leaders in the Church,” he said. “Any elder may attend, those on the session or those serving behind the scenes, those newly ordained or those with many years of service.”

Current service on the session is not a requirement to attend. “Any PC(USA) congregation or presbytery may send elders to the conference. There is no limit to the number of elders that may attend the conference,” he said.

The conference is sponsored by the Office of the General Assembly, the General Assembly Council and the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation.

Registration continues online. Hotel reservations must be made separately.

Janet Tuck is communications director for the Synod of Living Waters and a frequent contributor to Presbyterian News Service. She will be covering the National Elders Conference at the Big Tent event for PNS.

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