Stated Clerk announces decision not to stand for third term

August 25, 2015

Louisville

The church lives its life through the liturgical seasons. Those seasons remind us of the biblical story and prepare us to celebrate the gift of God’s grace in Jesus Christ. In Advent we live in a season of expectations—the expectations of awaiting the promise of new life and a new way of living.

I firmly believe the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has entered into a new chapter of its common life. That chapter is full of much promise as we continue to follow God into the world. It also is my belief that this new chapter needs new leadership. I am therefore officially announcing that I will not stand for a third term as Stated Clerk.

It has been a great privilege for me to serve in the church in a variety of ministries. In every setting I have met wonderful people who are extraordinary witnesses for God. I have seen unselfish, faithful service from small children to mature saints. All of these images and stories I will carry with me always.

It has been a great honor to work with a talented staff—people giving of themselves because they strongly believe in their call to the work. It is a staff that is always striving to find ways to help, to encourage, and to listen to the wisdom of the greater church. We are blessed to have such servants.

Most of all I want to thank my wife Kathy. She has been an honest supporter and good listener. She has helped me to stay grounded. Her theological insights open my eyes daily to new visions of God.

The Lord has been good to me during these years. God has sent me friends to encourage and friends to challenge. The Holy Spirit has filled in for my many gaps. The gift of faithfulness in the life of Jesus Christ has inspired me to journey on the road with other disciples during this time of great change. I look forward to the future that God is calling the PC(USA) toward.

The Reverend Gradye Parsons
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Parsons was ordained in 1979 and served two congregations over 15 years. He also served as executive presbyter of the Presbytery of Holston for six and a half years. Parsons began working in the Office of the General Assembly in August 2000 and was elected Stated Clerk for his first term in 2008. A new Stated Clerk will be elected at the 222nd General Assembly (2016) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), June 18–25, in Portland, Oregon. The work of the Stated Clerk Nomination Committee is underway, and the committee is currently seeking church-wide input.

  1. Grady: as one of your many ecumenical colleagues and friends, I want to thank you for your service to not only the PC(USA) but also to the body of Christ worldwide. You have served in tumultuous times with grace and dignity. Thank you for your courtesy and friendship. There is more to be done and your continued participation will be important. Be well and be blessed.

    by Peter Borgdorff

    August 27, 2015

  2. Ditto to all the other expressions of thanks for your strong leadership and commitment to the mission of the PCUSA in your role as Stated Clerk. You will not be easily replaced.

    by Belle Miller McMaster

    August 27, 2015

  3. Gradye, in our very limited interactions, you were humble, available, and good-humored. I think Jesus might have been the same. Thank you for your fine and faithful service.

    by Chris Grewe

    August 26, 2015

  4. Gradye, Great leaders always inspire ,encourage and leave their foot prints in the sands for others to follow. In the mist of "changing sands" , and like Christ, you've left a legacy of excellence in your poly-centric leadership vision , extraordinary demonstration of love for humanity and the PCUSA organization. Terri and I are grateful for your guidance , teachings,humor, and encouragement . We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.And like the Apostle Paul, you've left a "big shoe" for the next Stated Clerk to fit in. May the many hearts you've touched , the many souls you've saved as a pastor, and a servant of God, remind you of the wonderful work you've accomplished during your time with all Presbyterians in the world. Thank you, my friend and my mentor.

    by David N. Ofori, Jr.

    August 26, 2015

  5. Gradye, Amen to the Baker's Dozen postings already entered, particularly to Jerry Van Marter's -- great decision for you and yours, less great for the PC(USA). As the truly Indispensable One once put it -- "Well done, good and faithful servant of the Church and its Lord. You have been faithful in all things; enter into a new Joy!"

    by John Goodman

    August 25, 2015

  6. Gradye, thanks for being a confident, intelligent, and faithful servant in the Stated Clerk's job. Your witness was important for the church at a time of dis-ease and transition. Maintaining a sense of humor was also a true gift.

    by Curtis A. Kearns

    August 25, 2015

  7. You have done a great job under very difficult circumstances Gradye! We will miss you while wishing you the best. God bless you and yours.

    by John Huffman

    August 25, 2015

  8. You have done such a great Kob and you are a fine example of GOD'D servent----Bristol Still Misses you !! GOD bless you

    by Deans Davenport

    August 25, 2015

  9. Gradye, Thanks for your long, warm, and generous service to our denomination. I've really appreciated your care for our military and VA chaplains and all military members. They serve a long way from our judicatories but you remember them and have steadily shown Christ's love in your words and actions. Ed

    by Ed Brogan

    August 25, 2015

  10. Gradye I wish you the best. Thank you for your ministry. I have enjoy those moments where our paths have crossed.

    by Sharon M. Davison

    August 25, 2015

  11. Gradye, You have given selflessly and in very challenging circumstances. Thank you for loving our church and for your service and leadership.

    by Heath K. Rada

    August 25, 2015

  12. Thanks for you service to God and PCUSA. We appreciate your relationship, awareness, advice and assistance with the church in Puerto Rico. May God bless you and your family always!

    by Antonio Roldán Rodríguez

    August 25, 2015

  13. Thanks for you service to God and PCUSA. We appreciate your relationship, awareness, advice and assistance with the PCUSA in Puerto Rico. May God bless you and your family always!

    by Antonio Roldán Rodríguez

    August 25, 2015

  14. I am grateful for your friendship over the years and the ministry you have done. God bless you in the days to come my friend. Peace, Jerry

    by Gerald L. Voye

    August 25, 2015

  15. Thank you for your service and your leadership!

    by Merri Alexander

    August 25, 2015

  16. May God go with you, Gradye. I have appreciated your responsiveness to my calls and your assistance with process so the minority pro-life voice in the PCUSA could be heard. I am grateful for your promotion of training for ruling elders and for your steadfast personal witness to faith in Jesus Christ. My prayers for you will continue as God leads you to your next place of service in His kingdom.

    by Marie Bowen

    August 25, 2015

  17. Gradye - You've served well during these years of progress in understanding God's arms are open much wider, with an embrace much warmer, than we could have ever imagined. Godspeed on your life's next adventures!

    by Jim Nedelka

    August 25, 2015

  18. Good for you, Gradye, and good for your family. For the PC(USA) maybe not so much. Your skill, leadership, commitment to the church and to justice, humor and friendship to many are a rare combination. No one in the church, except Jesus, is indispensable, but you come close, my friend. Thanks for everything.

    by Jerry Van Marter

    August 25, 2015

  19. Best Wishes, Gradye for the next phase of your life. Thanks your wisdom, dedication, patience and good humor during your many years of dedicated service to the PCUSA. It has been a pleasure working with you during a part of that time.

    by William Lake Leonard

    August 25, 2015

  20. Thank you, Gradye, for your faithful service and strong leadership. Your example,of grace and humility will be a standard our next Stated Clerk should aspire to. Blessings in your next adventure, Friend!

    by Charles R. Traylor

    August 25, 2015

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