From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 04 May 1996 20:41:25


                         By Julian Shipp 
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--The Rev. John McCormick Buchanan, pastor of Fourth 
Presbyterian Church in Chicago, has become the third announced candidate 
for moderator of the 208th General Assembly (1996). Buchanan was endorsed 
Oct.10 by the Presbytery of Chicago. 
     He joins the Rev. Norman D. Pott, pastor of First Presbyterian Church 
of San Rafael, Calif.  (Redwoods Presbytery), and the Rev. John Clark 
Poling, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Las Cruces, N.M. (Sierra 
Blanca Presbytery). The Assembly is scheduled for June 29-July 5 in 
Albuquerque, N.M. 
     A native of Altoona, Pa., Buchanan served as a member of the Special 
Committee on Reconciliation at the 207th General Assembly (1995)  in 
Cincinnati. He also served as moderator of  the Committee on General 
Assembly Council Review at the 206th General Assembly (1994) in Wichita, 
Kan. He graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., and 
received the master of divinity degree from the Divinity School of the 
University of Chicago/The Chicago Theological Seminary. 
     Buchanan served pastorates at Dyer, Ind., Lafayette, Ind., and 
Columbus, Ohio, before coming to Chicago. The 4,100-member Fourth 
Presbyterian Church is nearly 125 years old. At its present location since 
1913, the church was organized following the merger of two Presbyterian 
congregations in 1871.  
     Buchanan presently serves on the board of trustees of the Board of 
Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)  and is on the governing board 
of the National Council of Churches.  He is a member of Chicago 
Presbytery's Committee on Professional Development and moderates the 
presbytery's Bicentennial Fund Committee. 
     Stating that categories like "moderate," "liberal" and "conservative" 
are of limited usefulness, Buchanan described himself to the Presbyterian 
News Service as "somewhere in the middle."  "I think I'm in the mainstream 
of Presbyterianism, which is occasionally more liberal than conservative 
and sometimes more conservative than liberal." 
     Buchanan said that just as the Fourth Church congregation prides 
itself on being "a light unto the city" through its urban mission, 
evangelism and education programs, the Presbyterian Church has an 
obligation to be the light of the world. "I think the clear call of the 
church is to love the world as profoundly as God loved the world and Jesus 
Christ, and that's our sole reason for existence." 
     Buchanan said reconciliation is not only possible in the Presbyterian 
Church, it's already beginning to occur. "I think we are sometimes inclined 
to think that reconciliation means ideological or theological consensus, or 
agreeing on everything, and that is not about to happen," he said. 
"Reconciliation is our experience of God's grace in Jesus Christ 
individually and personally and then between brothers and sisters. It is 
our calling to be that reconciled community in spite of our diversity. 
     "I think as we acknowledge and live out our reconciliation that our 
diversity can become a gift which can become something to celebrate rather 
than something which divides us," Buchanan said. 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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