PCUSA's Kirkpatrick will not seek new term

Will continue with World Alliance of Reformed Churches
Clifton Kirkpatrick, the top official who has led the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) through seemingly interminable social-theological disputes over homosexuality, scripture and church law since 1996, has announced that he will not run for a fourth term as stated clerk in June.

“This has been the best job I ever had” but one that also comes with “stresses and strains,” said Kirkpatrick, 62, who has served three four-year terms in the key post of the 3-million-member denomination based in Louisville, Kentucky.

Long-term membership drops have been accompanied by reduced donations to Louisville from churches unhappy with efforts to permit same-sex blessings and ordination of gay clergy. Some congregations have transferred their affiliation to smaller, conservative Presbyterian bodies in recent years.


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