By JoAnne Viviano
Brookwood Presbyterian Church recently updated its slogan to represent its goal of being “a church for all peoples.”
That mission is exemplified in the East Side congregation’s new tri-pastorate arrangement, which offers members diversity of race, gender, age, experience and more.
The Rev. John Birkner, 55 and white, said the choice was intentional at the church of about 200 diverse members. He works alongside the Rev. Irvin Moxley, who is 79 and black, and the Rev. Amy House, 41 and white.
“Our country is becoming more multicultural and multiethnic, so how do we find ways of relating the Gospel in ways they find comfortable and understand and live?” Moxley said. “The church of the 21st century has to be a church for all people or not be a church at all.”
Brookwood’s is the first tri-pastorate arrangement in the Presbytery of Scioto Valley, which includes 104 churches. It was made possible after recent revisions to the Book of Order — part of the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) — that give presbyteries more leeway in creating pastoral configurations, said the Rev. Richard Hays of the local presbytery.