|New book celebrates ecumenical tradition of PC(USA) and SFTS|
A new book of essays that celebrates Rev. Dr. Clifton Kirkpatrick, Stated Clerk Emeritus of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has a distinct correlation to the ecumenical emphasis at San Francisco Theological Seminary.
Edited by Rev. Dr. Neal Presa (M.Div. ’02), That They May All Be One: Celebrating World Communion of Reformed Churches includes contributions from former SFTS faculty, graduates, seminary friends and renowned theologians who have been speakers at SFTS campuses in San Anselmo and Pasadena.
“The strong involvement of people associated with SFTS in this book exemplifies the best ecumenical tradition of the PC(USA),” said Dr. Philip Wickeri, former SFTS Flora Lamson Hewlett Professor of Evangelism and Mission. “To be Presbyterian is to be ecumenical.”
That They May All Be One: Celebrating World Communion of Reformed Churches was published for the Uniting General Council in Grand Rapids, Mich., June 18-28, which marked the historic merger of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Reformed Ecumenical Council. Two years in the making, the festschrift was presented to Kirkpatrick, president of the WARC who chaired the discussions for his organization that led to the formation of the new World Communion of Reformed Churches.
A group of 27 pastors, theologians and ecumenists contributed essays on the importance of ecumenism in working for mission and justice. In addition to Presa and Wickeri, other contributors with SFTS ties include Aimee Moiso (M.Div. ’06), former WARC President Jane Dempsey Douglass, who has taught at the SFTS Pasadena campus, former World Council of Churches General Secretary Samuel Kobia, who spoke at SFTS when his wife Ruth was a student at SFTS, and Rev. Gene Turner, former pastor in Marin County, where SFTS is located. Kirkpatrick himself visited and lectured at SFTS while he was PC(USA) stated clerk.
“The breadth and depth of the essays tell us something about the unity of the 21st century ecumenical movement, but they also tell us something about the ability of one human being: Reverend Clifton Kirkpatrick—a vessel for unity and mission today,” said contributor Bernice Powell Jackson, World Council of Churches president for North America.
The collection of essays was a partnership between the WARC, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Caribbean and North American Area Council (CANAAC) of WARC, and the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. Presa serves as chair of CANAAC.
“The festschrift project came about as a desire to honor Cliff's retirement as stated clerk of the PC(USA), which he served from 1996-2008, as well as to highlight his leadership in WARC, the WCC, the NCC and the global mission of the PC(USA),” Presa said. “The collection of essays reflects upon the Reformed ecumenical witness through the lenses of mission and justice, as well as discusses future opportunities and challenges of the newly inaugurated World Communion of Reformed Churches.
Other contributors include Setri Nyomi (WCRC general secretary), Iain Torrance (Princeton Seminary president), Ofelia Ortega (WCC president for Latin America), Gradye Parsons (PC(USA) stated clerk), Michael Kinnamon (NCC general secretary) and His All Holiness Aram I (former moderator of the WCC Central Committee).
To purchase this resource, visit The Thoughtful Christian web site.