A New Adventure (Presbyterian Style)



From John Wilkinson’s moderator page

When I was elected a commissioner to General Assembly from National Capital Presbytery, I knew one of the joys would be the chance to cast a vote for my friend John Wilkinson, who is standing for moderator. (We don’t call it “running,” for reasons not entirely clear to me. One of my readers will enlighten me.)

It never occurred to me that there would be more to the story!

I am proud and humbled to be John’s choice for vice moderator. You can read John’s embarrassingly kind announcement here.

What does this mean?

Each moderator candidate chooses a vice moderator candidate. Once the person is elected, his or her pick is typically confirmed. The moderator election will take place on June 14, the first day of General Assembly.

The moderator and vice moderator are two-year volunteer positions. The moderator presides at the General Assembly meeting (with the vice moderator filling in during less controversial debates). Following GA, mods and vice mods have additional responsibilities, but generally serve as ambassadors of sorts. They help interpret the decisions of the GA to the congregations and serve as a public face and presence.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know John through NEXT Church; in fact he was one of the original masterminds behind that movement! I preached at his church in Rochester and led a Sabbath event back in 2012, followed by a NEXT regional event the next day. Thus began a fun connection between our two congregations, which resulted in the youth choir from John’s church (Third Presbyterian) singing at Idylwood last summer on their choir tour. John even drove down from Rochester for the festivities, which surprised and delighted us all.

If you’re the praying type, I’d appreciate your prayers for John and for me, and for the other candidates for moderator, Heath Rada and Kelly Allen.

10 thoughts on “A New Adventure (Presbyterian Style)

  1. I will be praying for all of u. once not too long ago, i was a parish assoc. at Idylwood. w/ Rev. Sirbaugh.

    congrats. i should come visit u at Idylwood some time so we can get acquainted.

    1. virgiiniahollis

      that would be great. I would enjoy meeting u at Idylwood and discussing old times there. let me know when is convenient for u.

  2. Joe

    So excited for you, and for John, but mostly for the PC(USA). I hold onto hope that the future is bright!

  3. Christine Vogel

    Congratulations to you — and to John, whom I know from his days at 4th Pres. in Chicago. Excited for you both, and for the denomination as a whole. Wish I was going to be there to vote. Peace, Christine

  4. Charlie

    Wow! Congratulations! As to “standing” vice “running”, I can offer an anecdote from my undergraduate days. A friend of mine announced that he would be standing for student government president at Catholic University in Washington, DC. I wished him well as he ran for office. “No,” he corrected me, “I’m ‘standing’ — ‘running’ is far too athletic an image.”


    1. Bob Braxton

      Standing is no small matter. When I was quite young (being the firstborn) my father Cornelius ran in Alamance County, NC, for the office of Register of Deeds. As a very shy introvert, I dreaded the thought of campaigning on his behalf. For me “stand” is quite fitting. Even HRC (2016?) benefits from spousal / partner’s support. Doing this (taking this step) is so momentous that some just cannot “stand it” (trusting this is not the case this time).

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