By Steve Salyards
As we hit the one-month mark before the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) this is a good time to profile the three individuals that the candidates standing for Moderator have asked to join them on this journey. At the onset we can make one very sweeping generalization and say that the next Vice-Moderator will be a female teaching elder. There is also a certain unique symmetry in the choices with the candidate now from North Carolina, but with strong ties to Virginia, picking a New Yorker, the New Yorker joining with a Virginian, and the Texan running with, well, another Texan. It makes one wonder if there is a Presbyterian Camps and Conference Centers thing going on with a Stoney Point/Montreat/Mo Ranch association here, but that would beg the question of where is Ghost Ranch in this and how Virginia fits in? (Makemie Woods? Massanetta Springs? Or we could do it with Presbyterian seminaries…) But I am probably starting to go down a line that is correlation without causation, so let me return to the matter at hand.
I will take these in chronological order of announcement.
MaryAnn McKibben Dana was the first announced Vice-Moderator candidate standing with TE John Wilkinson. Teaching Elder McKibben Dana is pastor of Idylwood Presbyterian Church in Falls Church, Va. and a member of National Capital Presbytery. She has her undergraduate degree from Rice University and her M.Div. from Columbia Theological Seminary. She had a previous call as an associate pastor at Burke Presbyterian Church in Burke, Va. TE McKibben Dana has served the church in a number of areas including the current adventure of co-chairing NEXT Church. She is also author of Sabbath in the Suburbs with another book on the way …
Teaching Elder Larissa Kwong Abazia was chosen by Moderator candidate RE Heath Rada as his running mate. Ms Kwong Abazia currently serves as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills in Queens, New York, in the Presbytery of New York City. The PC(USA) press release describes her church as “a multicultural, multiethnic congregation.” She is a native of New Jersey, did her undergraduate work at Rutgers and her M.Div. is from Princeton Theological Seminary …
Our final candidate is Teaching Elder Leslie A. King of Waco, Texas, where she pastors the First Presbyterian Church, a congregation in Grace Presbytery. Her previous call was at Osawatomie Presbyterian Church in Osawatomie, Kansas. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas, her M.Div. from McCormick Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from the Saint Paul’s School of Theology (a UMC school in Overland Park, KS, in case you don’t recognize it)… .
Read more at http://blog.gajunkie.com/2014/05/14/a-trio-of-vice-moderator-candidates-for-the-221st-general-assembly-of-the-pcusa.aspx
And for the moderator – King David!
See 1 Sam. 25:42-43:
” 42 And Abigail hasted, … and became his wife. 43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives.”