More than any other mainline Protestant executive in the past dozen years, Clifton Kirkpatrick of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been on the hot seat almost annually over church disputes, usually concerning the ordination of noncelibate gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex unions. In2004 the PCUSA switched from annualto biennial General Assemblies. Kirkpatrick, 63, announced last fall he would not run for another four-year term as stated clerk, or chief executive, at this month’s assembly. He will continue as president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches until 2010.
Did you decline to run again as stated clerk because of the toll the job exacts?