“I’m just an elder.”
Have you heard someone say that? Have you said it yourself? Maybe in response to being asked to lead worship, or preach, or visit someone in the hospital?
“No,” you reply, “I couldn’t do that. I’m just an elder. Those are things the pastor does.”
Our Presbyterian polity doesn’t recognize the statement, “I’m just an elder.” In our polity, ruling elders and teaching elders (also known as Ministers of the Word and Sacrament) share equally in the governance and spiritual leadership of the church. Our calls to ministry encompass different functions and tasks, but we are called equally to ministry and to leadership in the church.
Colombian and U.S. Presbyterians who have partnered for more than six years to protect human rights workers in Colombia are calling on their sisters and brothers in both countries to take accompaniment to the next level.
The Rev. David Harris, publisher and editor of Canada’s Presbyterian Record magazine, was elected May 30 president of Ecumenical News International, a Geneva-based news service that covers international religious news. Harris was elected at a meeting of ENI’s general assembly in Geneva.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans say gay or lesbian relations between consenting adults should be legal, the highest percentage ever recorded by Gallup.
Presbyterian pastor Allan Hugh Cole Jr. has gathered a selection of two dozen "poets, prophets, and preachers" in his latest book, A Spiritual Life: Perspectives from Poets, Prophets, and Preachers. Writers such as Gail Godwin, Lauren F. Winner, William H. Willimon, Marjorie J. Thompson, and many others share their understandings of what makes for a vibrant spiritual life.
The Rev. William P. Lytle, a staunch supporter of Presbyterian reunion who served as moderator of the General Assembly of the former United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (the “northern stream”) in 1978 ― just five years before it combined with the southern stream Presbyterian Church in the United States to form the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ― died May 27 in Los Gatos, Calif., after a lengthy illness. He was 87.
The Rev. Walter Soboleff, one of the first Alaska Natives ordained to ministry in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) died May 22 in Juneau, Alaska of bone cancer and prostate cancer. He was 102.
Memorial service arrangements are pending.
In October 2008, this reporter ― who served with Walter on the board of trustees of Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, his alma mater ― interviewed Soboleff at length during Alaska Presbytery’s celebration of his 100th birthday.
As the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC) in Kingston, Jamaica, enters its seventh day, attendees discussed topics such as helping communities resolve conflict through peaceful means and how churches can positively respond to the challenge of climate change and environmental destruction.
Religious and human rights activists are asking U.S. churches to invite Jewish and Muslim clergy to their sanctuaries to read from sacred texts next month in an initiative designed to counter anti-Muslim bigotry.
Presbyterian elder and longtime Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) leader Youngil Cho, 77, died May 22 in Raleigh, N.C. A funeral service will be held May 28 at the Korean Presbyterian Church of DuRaleigh.