Rev. Janet Edwards is fifth moderator candidate

Pittsburgh pastor standing for position despite lack of endorsement from presbytery

March 5, 2012

The Rev. Janet Edwards

The Rev. Janet Edwards


The Rev. Janet Edwards is the fifth candidate for moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s 220th General Assembly this summer.

Edwards is standing for moderator without the endorsement of her presbytery. On Feb. 2, Pittsburgh Presbytery — of which Edwards was moderator in 1987 — declined to endorse her candidacy by a vote of 85-144. 

Other announced candidates standing for election are the Rev. Robert M. Austell Jr. of Charlotte Presbytery, the Rev. Randy Branson of Palo Duro Presbytery; the Rev. Sue Krummel of Great Rivers Presbytery; and the Rev. Neal Presa of Elizabeth Presbytery.

“As Presbyterians, I feel that we have lost our courage to proclaim the gospel in word and deed.  I want us to regain that courage,” Edwards said in a statement. “To do this, I believe that we must be honest among ourselves about what troubles us. We must stand for justice. We must welcome the service of all. And we must inspire our young people by being relevant to the crucial concerns of our time.”

Ordained in 1977, Edwards serves on the Nominating Committee of the Synod of the Trinity and on the Board of Directors for the Pittsburgh Presbytery Foundation. She is also on the board of More Light Presbyterians, which she served as co-moderator from 2008-11.

Edwards’ ministry has included working with communities who have felt excluded from church life, as well as the conflict surrounding the place of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in the church.

Edwards is a member of The Community of Reconciliation, an intentionally interracial, multi-denominational and inclusive congregation in Pittsburgh.

She and her husband, Alvise, have two sons, Charles and Sebastian.

  1. I will expect a detailed article about the other 4 candidates for moderator of the next GA. I would like to know their theology, stances on "divisive issues." Certainly we all have some.

    by Pastor Joy Smith

    March 15, 2012

  2. Rev. Edwards is a very spiritual person and very kind to all. Pittsburg Presbytery is one of the least progressive presbyteries in the country. Many of the presbyteries in the PCUSA would be overjoyed to have sent her name to the General Assembly. Some of the folks in that presbytery have treated her badly and said mean things about her. If they really knew her, they would see how much she loves the Lord and wants to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    by Greg

    March 12, 2012

  3. I trust the GA is open to Janet Edwards for Moderator for these reasons: My name is Chip Crawford. I am a Ruling Elder of the Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church. I'm responding to the comment about promoting gay marriage and a GLBT agenda and teh question about why would the GA consider Janet for this role. Although Janet is a living example of reformation and social justice the matter of moderator is one of facilitation competency and a Christ centered presense. There are few people in the history of the Pittsburgh Presbytery as qualified for the role of Moderator as Dr. Edwards. Janet has served the church as disciple, and the community as citizen, for over 30 years. Janet’s curriculum vitae of ministry is evidence of love of the Lord, discipleship, and keen intellect. What qualifies Janet as much as her credentials are her talents and skills as a Moderator. Those who know Janet regardless of theology, polity, or practice know this: •Janet puts Christ first •she is a great listener and respects ‘the other’ even when the others point of view is worlds apart from her own •she has an open and inquisitive mind •she is carries with her the spirit of reformation •she is rational, balanced and fair minded •Janet is a bridge builder and healer •she is clear and certain, yet calm •she knows the rules (as in Roberts) which are essential for effective moderation •she is meticulously prepared •Janet is ‘called’ to this role by The One who loves us all •Janet would represent the Pittsburgh Presbytery and our community of faith where, when it is all said and done, as Pittsburgh Presbyterians we will be both grateful and proud John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” Janet follows this commandment every day of her life. Please join your brothers and sisters in affirming Dr. Edwards as Moderator for the General Assembly. Response from Nathan Sobers, March 03, 2012 Seattle, WA I think you’ll see from Dr. Edwards webpage, ( that her sense of call is exactly about leading the people of God forward during these challenging times. I quote: "It is clear that we are in a crucial moment in the church. To move forward together, we must find ways to live as the Body of Christ with power and proclaim the Gospel with joy and courage. This is what we all want to do and I feel that my call is to help move the church in this direction.” for these reasons.

    by Chip Crawford

    March 7, 2012

  4. The majority of people at the Feb. 2 meeting of Pittsburgh Presbytery felt that Janet Edwards was too closely identified with GLBTQ issues particularly. She has been an activist for GLBTQ issues who, instead of respecting the law of the church, acted in defiance of it to (in her words) marry two women. I don't disagree with Mr. Snyder's assessment of her, but I voted against her because of my concern that Rev. Edwards would be seen as a divisive presence in church leadership at this delicate time in the PCUSA.

    by Jake Horner

    March 6, 2012

  5. The majority of delegates at the Feb. 2 meeting of Pittsburgh Presbytery felt that Janet Edwards was too closely identified with progressive issues in the church. They felt that the denomination was in need of a bridge-builder--someone less stigmatized as a member of one camp or another. I voted to endorse her because, though she is a identified with a specific camp, she is also a truly loving and respectful person who is sympathetic to people who disagree with her. I think she could indeed build bridges.

    by Brian Snyder

    March 6, 2012

  6. Why did her presbytery refuse to endorse her? Why is GA considering her despite her presbytery's lack of endorsment? Who are the other 4 candidate?

    by Arthur

    March 6, 2012