Get to Know the Candidates for Moderator of the 220th General Assembly of the PC(USA)

Moderator Candidates Left to Right: Robert Austell, Randy Branson, Susan Krummel, Neal Presa

RESPONSE LINKS: Robert and HopeNeal and TaraSusan and JamesRandy and Shamaine

UPDATE: Janet Edwards, the fifth candidate for Moderator, recently made the decision to remove her name from the slate in order to care for her husband, Alvise. Read Janet’s Blog Post, Stepping Down from Standing for Moderator of the 220th General Assembly and please hold Janet, Alvise and their community in prayer.

Last week, I gave a little peek into the world of Presbyterian Church (USA) Land and the election of the Moderator of the 220th General Assembly of the PC(USA). To learn about the candidates, the best source is the official  2012 Moderatorial Candidates’ Handbook that has biographical information and responses to questions.  Another good source of information are responses to questions given to the candidates by various organizations and entities. This year I jumped into the fray and, in all fairness, as a former Moderator, it would have been hard for them to say no . . . so a great big thank you to the candidates for indulging me.

I posed the follow questions and gave them a 1,500 character limit for each response.

  1. Knowing that being Moderator/Vice-Moderator will require a great deal of time and energy from you and your community, why give in this way to the Presbyterian Church (USA)?
  2. If someone were to ask you, “Why should I bother going to church?” how would you respond?
  3. Choose one item of business or issue that will be coming up at General Assembly and share your perspective.
  4. What are a few things that most people would never guess about you: interests, adventures or . . .?
  5. WILD CARD: Answer any question you want, one that someone has yet to ask or choose from some that have been asked here: http://bit.ly/KwiN07.

Below you will find some basic info for each team of candidates, including some of their social media platforms and links to their responses. Enjoy!

Robert Austell (Moderator) and Hope Italiano Lee (Vice-Moderator)

Randy Branson (Moderator) and Shamaine Chambers King (Vice-Moderator)

Susan Krummel (Moderator) and James Sanghyun Lee (Vice-Moderator)

Neal Presa (Moderator) and Tara Spuhler McCabe (Vice-Moderator)

Again, I would like to give a word of personal thanks to all of the candidates for taking the time to respond to my questions and for the overall willingness to answer a call to offer their names for service to and with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Thank you.

Tara Spuhler McCabe, Candidate for Vice-Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA)

In an attempt to help folks get to know the candidates for Moderator of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), I have asked the Moderatorial and Vice-Moderatorial Candidates a few questions. You can find links to all of their responses HERE and you can follow most of the candidates on Twitter HERE. Thanks for taking the time to read their responses and please feel free to share this with friends, leave a comment or ask a question.

CANDIDATE FOR  VICE-MODERATOR w/Neal Presa
Tara Spuhler McCabe –  Teaching Elder, National Capital Presbytery

WebsiteFacebook

A snippet from Tara’s responses in the 2012 Moderatorial Handbook:

We are part of your team to grow in the integrity and strength of a church in the Body of Christ. And I do not want to be shy about this. We work hard and with deep faith in being a church, a body, a vibrant and faithful body. All of this is what I love in being a part of this particular body. We are currently in a time not unlike any other time, when we are all tasked to be faithful witnesses. May we be encouraged to get a sense of how our traditions give us the foundations for being creative collective folk. Again, all of this is precious!

Knowing that being Moderator/Vice-Moderator will require a great deal of time and energy from you and your community, why give in this way to the Presbyterian Church (USA)?

I love church: the people, the worship but more importantly the ways in which church and church people are and can be in the world.

I have served a particular congregation for 12 years, in the city. We are busy and we are deep in our faith practices. All of this by claiming who we are, Presbyterians and who we belong to, our Lord and Savior. I welcome an opportunity, with the moderator, to learn how other churches and presbyteries are and can engage their faith and church life with the community and the world around them.

I sense that I have been in a bubble, a great one. But now, I would like to share my zeal as well as learn more about others in our denomination. My family and friends have affirmed this call as an opportunity for me as well as an opportunity with the denomination. We all are ready for the time and work.

If someone were to ask you, “Why should I bother going to church?” how would you respond?

This is an essential question for each of us. Frankly, I am not in the ministry to prove myself or the church to others.

I am in ministry to be present with others in their yearnings and desires of belonging and faith. I would want to listen to what church means or does not mean for this person. Then offer responses on the variety of churches and why.

And I would share that for me, church is a unique group of folk that are in relationship with one another based on a link that is deeper and more than just themselves, be it faith and ultimately, our Triune God.

Church for me, is where I need to be so that I will live beyond just myself and live for others, as Christ has lived, died, and risen so that we are able to live into New Life…this is the deep stuff that takes a relationship to share.

And I would have to be frank, I love church! Hope they would welcome a partner if they are interested in church shopping?

Choose one item of business or issue that will be coming up at General Assembly and share your perspective.

Non-geographic Presbyteries. How we as a denomination respond and work in this question and concern, will firstly, say to others how we live out diversity and live into unity. Even if folks might think others are not interested in what we are doing, we could still present models of being a body of Christ.

Secondly, times right now for each of us in our denomination ask us to be intentional as well as creative in being a denomination. But I am concerned that in some of our creative ways, we are dividing ourselves even more. Not completely sure myself what is possible but I do want to stay in relationship with the traditions of our faith and in the creative practices of the Spirit.

What are a few things that most people would never guess about you: interests, adventures or . . .?

  • I dance by myself in my office all the time!
  • I am more of a Sci-Fi junkie and Marvel Comics fan then one would think. I like getting lost in the adventures.
  • I grew up in a Presbyterian Church and in a store front free will Baptist church…I have stayed true to the prayin’ and singin’.
  • I am a Disney World freak…not Disneyland.
  • There have been three ordained clergy in my extended family, and I am the first female of the three.

WILD CARD: Answer any question you want, one that someone has yet to ask or choose from some that have been asked here: http://bit.ly/KwiN07

If I were ever stuck in an elevator with a Presbyterian, an Occupier, and an elected official for 5 hours, how would we spend the time together?

The occupier would immediately be able to set up camp and begin with a mic check…
Elected Official would desire to find out where we each are from…
And the Presbyterian would ask if we could form a committee to strategize getting out of here…

What is fantastic is that all three, with very different energies and perspectives are all starting at the same place…gathering together and checking in. They are building a relationship.

Since occupy is never feeling heard and the politician wants to be heard, the Presbyterian can offer an ordering of worship. Yes worship.

Not that all will be solved but through worship, we are gathered, our confessions of our failings in living to our highest potential for God are shared together. Assurance in God’s steadfast grace and abundance is proclaimed. Then with scripture we grapple with a brokenness that is present among our politicians and our occupiers. We seek solace in a faith that heals and mends all things!

Then we offer! We offer possibilities in mending the brokenness. We compromise, maybe. We create. We practice living into resurrection. Not out of our own needs and desires but out of God’s highest potential for God’s creation. Then we are sent on our way by the good people who fixed our elevator!

This question has been my ministry lately and it is possible.

Thanks again to all of the candidates for being part of this process. While we obviously hold all of the candidates in prayer throughout this process, please be sure to pray for their communities of service, their families and all who are supporting them during this time.

For all of the candidates’ links and responses click HERE or go directly to the individual responses: Neal and TaraSusan and JamesRandy and ShamaineRobert and Hope

 

 


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