General Assembly

News bulletins from the 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

General Assembly News – 6.23.2016

General Assembly News – 6.22.2016

General Assembly News – 6.21.2016

General Assembly News – 6.20.2016

General Assembly News – 6.19.2016

General Assembly News – 6.18.2016

Bulletin Inserts

2016 Pre-GA insert

2016 Pre-GA insert (large print)


General Assembly News link:


Don’t forget to read the Presbytery Blog to read updates from our Commissioners to the Assembly…………

222nd General Assembly (2016) – June 18-25, 2016 Portland, Oregon

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) meets biennially in even-numbered years. It consists of commissioners elected by each of its 172 presbyteries. The GA is full of activities: business sessions, committee meetings, an exhibit hall, daily worship services, and mission tours sponsored by the  Committee on Local Arrangements.

The assembly acts on hundreds of items of business, which it receives through the reports and recommendations of various assembly entities, and through overtures from synods and presbyteries.

Lehigh Presbytery will be sending two Teaching Elder Commissioners, two Ruling Elder Commissioner, and one Young Adult Advisory Delegate (YAAD).

  • Teaching Elder Tim Dooner
  • Teaching Elder Don Brown
  • Ruling Elder Alicia Shussett
  • Ruling Elder Paul Lucia
  • YAAD Mary Lazar



2016 Moderatorial Candidates to the Presbyterian Church (USA)

As outlined in the Manual of the General Assembly, one of the responsibilities of the Stated Clerk is to provide to commissioners and advisory delegates an electronic packet of information about each candidate who is standing for Moderator. This year we have two sets of persons standing for Co-Moderator.

This booklet contains the following information for all candidates standing for Co- Moderators of the 222nd General Assembly (2016): a photograph, biographical sketch, personal statement regarding the candidate’s sense of call to the office, a written presentation by the presbytery having jurisdiction over the candidate (if that presbytery has endorsed him or her), and the candidate’s responses to a questionnaire developed by the Stated Clerk.

The candidates have chosen the layout for their material within the space limitations provided.

The election of the Co-Moderators will take place during the plenary session of the General Assembly on Saturday evening, June 18, 2016. The process that will be used can be found in Standing Rule H.1.b(4).

On Saturday morning, June 18, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., space will be provided in the pre-function A area of the Oregon Convention Center (outside the entrance to the exhibit hall) for Co-Moderator candidates or their representatives to meet commissioners, advisory delegates, and other interested parties. Draped partitions are provided and information can be displayed or distributed from these booths.

God’s blessings to you as you continue to pray and prepare for the General Assembly.

In Christ,

Gradye Parsons
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly,
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)


Co-Moderator Candidate Slate

 Denise Anderson & Jan Edmiston (Co-Moderators)

Photo - Denise AndersonAt National Capital Presbytery’s February 13th stated meeting, Teaching Elder T. Denise Anderson was unanimously endorsed to stand as Co-Moderator of the 222nd General Assembly (2016) of the PC(USA) with the Reverend Dr. Jan Edmiston. Anderson serves as pastor of Unity Presbyterian Church in Temple Hills, Maryland. She is a minister member of National Capital Presbytery, which was also her presbytery of care as an inquirer and candidate. While under care, Anderson served as a pastoral assistant at Taiwanese Presbyterian Church of Washington before being ordained at Unity. She has served National Capital on its committee on representation and now serves on its leadership council. Anderson is also a member of the NEXT Church strategy team and recently preached at its national gathering in Atlanta. She earned degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and Howard University School of Divinity. Anderson is a contributing writer, whose work has appeared in The Christian Century, The Huffington Post, These Days, Presbyterians Today, and Presbyterian Outlook. She also writes and curates her own blog and contributes to online blogs such as the clergywomen writers’ collective and RevGalBlogPals, a nonprofit supporting women in ministry on whose board she serves. Denise and her husband, Carter, have one daughter.

Photo - David ParkerTeaching Elder Jan Edmiston announced her stand for Co-Moderator of the 222nd General Assembly (2016) on November 21, 2015, which is also the day that the Presbytery of Chicago unanimously endorsed her stand at its stated meeting. She is a native North Carolinian where she grew up in University Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill. Ordained by the Presbytery of Boston in 1984, Edmiston currently serves as associate executive presbyter for ministry at the Presbytery of Chicago. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Andover-Newton Theological Seminary, and Columbia Theological Seminary. Edmiston has served the church as pastor of the Presbyterian United Church in Schaghticoke, New York, and as co-pastor and pastor of Fairlington Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Edmiston was also a commissioner at the 208th General Assembly (1996). She speaks throughout the PC(USA) about 21st century church shifts including for NEXT Church, RevGalBlogPals, and The Church Network. She has blogged at A Church for Starving Artists for more than ten years and has written for The Alban Institute and Homiletics. Edmiston and her husband, Fred Lyon, who is also a PC(USA) pastor in Flossmoor, Illinois, have three young adult children who live on the east coast.


Adan Mairena & David Parker (Co-Moderators)

Photo - David ParkerThe Presbytery of Philadelphia’s Collegiate has approved Teaching Elder Adan A. Mairena’s stand for Co-Moderator of the 222nd General Assembly (2016) and will gather to vote for his official endorsement in May 2015. Mairena was born in Honduras but has lived his entire life in the United States. Both Adan’s parents are PCUSA ordained ministers and as a result Adan grew up in Chicago, Texas, and New Mexico. Ordained by the Presbytery of Philadelphia in 2005, Adan currently is a Teaching Elder at the West Kensington Ministry at Norris Square and the Yeadon Presbyterian Church. Adan is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Adan was a Lilly Resident in Ministry at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church before his current call and has served the denomination as Director of the Board for the Board of Pensions, was a contributing writer of a denominational study guide that called for the comprehensive legalization of immigrants and is a member of the General Assembly Urban Ministry Leadership/Organizing Team.Adan was also a Theological Student Advisory Delegate at the 214th General Assembly (2002). Adan partners with grass-root community based organizations, interfaith groups, law enforcement, elected officials and others in Philadelphia as they address the issues that effect the quality of life of its citizens, especially those who are marginal.

Photo - David ParkerRuling Elder David Parker announced his stand for Moderator of the 222nd General Assembly (2016) on December 17, 2015 via Salem Presbytery Stated Clerk, David Vaughn. The presbytery unanimously endorsed Parker’s stand at its stated meeting on November 7, 2015. Parker is a “cradle” Presbyterian from White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, North Carolina.  His is currently a practicing attorney and member of First Presbyterian Church in Statesville, North Carolina. He served as Moderator of Salem Presbytery in 2012 and has continued to work with the presbytery, moderating Salem’s Executive Council. Elected by Salem Presbytery as commissioner of the 222nd General Assembly (2016), Parker was also a commissioner at the 219th General Assembly (2010). Parker has served his community as chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party, chair of the Mitchell Community College Board, and as a member of the Iredell County school board. He and his wife have three children and one grandchild.


2016 Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Candidates

A major item of business before the 222nd General Assembly (2016) is the election of a Stated Clerk of the General Assembly. The Stated Clerk Nomination Committee, elected by the 221st General Assembly (2014), has been diligent in its work and has been careful to follow the process detailed in the Standing Rules of the General Assembly found in the Manual of the General Assembly.

At the conclusion of the final interviews, the committee selected the Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson to recommend to the 222nd General Assembly (2016) for election as the next Stated Clerk of the General Assembly.

As provided for in the Standing Rules, one additional applicant declared to the committee on May 4, 2016, his intention to stand against the committee’s nominee. He is the Reverend David M. Baker. With this communication is a packet of information containing material for both J. Herbert Nelson and David Baker: biographical information, a personal statement, and answers to questions posed by the Stated Clerk Nomination Committee. Information for the committee’s nominee is presented first.


There are a variety of ways to access information on  the General Assembly:

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) —

is the main page of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). There will likely be news links found there, including for the Presbyterian News Service.

Proposed Docket – 222nd General Assembly (2016)

The 222nd General Assembly will convene with worship at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 18, and adjourn no later than noon on Saturday, June 25. Some important events precede the official start of the assembly: on Saturday morning, commissioners and advisory delegates are invited take part in Riverside Conversations – a debate-free time to begin conversing about some of the topics before the assembly.

The proposed docket includes more information on the official assembly meetings.

The assembly schedule will include many other optional events and meals sponsored by various entities and organizations. These can be good ways to learn about church programs, meet other attendees with similar interests, and hear outstanding speakers.

Opportunities abound for spiritual nourishment at the assembly. The assembly begins with worship on Saturday morning. On Sunday morning, all participants will have the opportunity to worship in area churches; transportation will be provided. Worship services and bible studies are planned throughout the week.


PC-Biz —

PC-biz is the web program that has been designed to display and follow the business of a General Assembly meeting. The program currently contains the history of the business of the past 5 assemblies, as well as the 222nd assembly that will be held in Portland.

It includes the text of the overtures and other recommendations that have been forwarded to the assembly – and it tracks the business as it moves through the assembly meeting, noting whether the recommendation was amended, approved, or disapproved. Finally, it serves as an archive or reference after the assembly has met.

There are two easy ways to get to the PC-biz site:


Office of the General Assembly homepage and assembly pages —

Presbyterian Outlook —


Upcoming General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church (USA)

222nd General Assembly (2016) – June 18-25, 2016 Portland
223rd General Assembly (2018) – June 16-23, 2018 St. Louis
224th General Assembly (2020) – June 20-27, 2020 Baltimore



The General Assembly consists of commissioners elected by presbyteries. Half of the commissioners will be ruling elders, half will be teaching elders. Few will ever have been commissioners to the General Assembly before, but most will have served in one of the other governing bodies of our church: the session, which provides care and oversight of a local congregation; the presbytery, which provides care and oversight of a group of congregations; or the synod which provides care and oversight of several presbyteries.

It reviews the work of synods, resolves controversies in the church, is responsible for matters of common concern for the whole church, and serves as a symbol of unity for the church.

The General Assembly has several specific responsibilities outlined in Chapter 3 of the Book of Order. The assembly seeks to protect our church from errors in faith and practice, is responsible for assuring that the expression of our theology remains true to the biblical standards in our historic confessions. The General Assembly presents a witness for truth and justice in our community and in the world community. It sets priorities for the church and establishes relationships with other churches or ecumenical bodies.

 More information can be found at:

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