General Assembly Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson, II, was among many who offered tribute to the Reverend Michael Lukens at a retirement party in his honor. Lukens is concluding his service as stated clerk of the Presbytery of Winnebago after forty-eight years in the post. His retirement is official December 31, 2017.

“Your connection to an era of the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America during a time when William P. Thompson served as Stated Clerk of the denomination is both iconic and legendary,” Nelson told Lukens on the eve of the December 2 celebration at Heritage Hill State Park in Green Bay, Wisconsin, referring to Lukens’ lengthy and probably record-breaking tenure.

“You have exemplified a willingness to affirm the power of faith through both good and difficult times,” Nelson wrote. “Your leadership embraces the era of women’s ordination, ending legalized segregation, reunion of the UPCUSA and the Presbyterian Church in the US, LGBT inclusion through ordination and marriage, and the passage of Belhar.”

Nelson concluded: “I feel extremely honored to serve as Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) during this special time in your life and ministry.”

For more on the life and ministry of Michael Lukens, read David Lewellen’s excellent story here.Lewellen is a free-lance writer based in Glendale, Wisconsin. He writes frequently for the Synod of Lakes and Prairies.