From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Pastor's ambivalent about biennial assemblies

Date 17 Jun 2002 11:42:53 -0400

Note #7235 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:


Pastor's ambivalent about biennial assemblies

by Midge Mack

COLUMBUS, OH - "I see good arguments on both sides," the Rev. Ken Wonderland of Hudson River Presbytery said, referring to the suggestion that the Presbyterian Church (USA) come together for national legislative meetings only once every two years.

"There must be ways we can make necessary decisions without the quantity of people and expense we have now," said Wonderland, a commissioner to the 214th General Assembly. "I'm not ready to decide yet, but I hope that committee can find a creative response to the old arguments."

Wonderland and his wife, the Rev. Susan Faye-Wonderland, are co-pastors of Webb Horton Memorial Church in Middletown, NY. He is deeply involved in community ministry and pastoral care, and active in Scouting and Kiwanis. She works closely with youth and young adults, in their 400-plus-member congregation and at the presbytery level.

The Wonderlands were ordained together 19 years ago in Philadelphia, PA, not long before they married. They have three children: Kyra, a sophomore at Syracuse University; Ryan, a high-school senior; and Jaynie, a sophomore in high school.

Wonderland said the committee to which he is assigned, Health and Social Issues, will be dealing with some provocative issues. He said he's concerned about Board of Pensions and limitations it imposes on the use of its money to pay for abortions, for example. He said he also will be interested in how the Assembly deals with questions relating to Jesus Christ and his role in salvation, as well as in any ways it might respond to the Confessing Church Movement.

Wonderland said he worries about his preparedness to play a role in making such important decisions. "I've been reading and reading," he said, referring to GA-related reports and background materials, "and I'm still not through it all."
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