From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
CHICAGO PASTOR JOINS RACE FOR MODERATOR
04 May 1996 20:41:25
95388 CHICAGO PASTOR JOINS RACE FOR MODERATOR
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
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 PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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