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.