category for “Fellowship of Presbyte-
rians examines options for ‘differen-
tiation’ from PC(USA).” The Pres-
byterian News Service took third in
the news service category.
1971 Barry Boyer (M.Div.)
retired after more than 25 years of
service at First Presbyterian Church
of Chippewa Falls, Wis. His last
day in the pulpit was May 20. Prior
to moving to the Chippewa Falls
church, Boyer served as associate
pastor of the Glen Avon Presbyterian
Church in Duluth, Minn., for seven
years and at the Bayfield Presbyterian
Church in Ashland for eight.
1979 Bradley
C. Copeland
(M.Div., D.Min.
has been
elected moderator
of the PC(USA)
General Assembly
Permanent Judicial Commission.
The judicial commission is the final
authority of the church, analogous
to U.S. Appellate Courts, deciding
appealed issues of remedial cases
such as misconduct as well as disci-
plinary cases which may involve of-
fenses made by individuals. Cope-
land will act as the moderator for the
next two years, when his six-year
post on the 16-member commission
will expire. He also serves as senior
pastor of Magnolia Presbyterian
Church, one of most venerable and
iconic churches in Riverside, Calif.
He believes the art of being a good
pastor will be an asset while he serves
on the judicial commission. “In the
preamble to our Book of Discipline,
we speak of our purpose of restora-
tion and reconciliation,” he said.
“And while we in the commission
have ecclesiastical authority, people
and diversity are always heard be-
cause issues are not black and white.”
Copeland admits that he finds it
troubling in today’s Christian com-
munity that many believe there is
only one valid viewpoint regarding
contemporary issues. “And that is
why we acknowledge as a church
that people can think and that we
should have dialogue on controver-
sial issues.” The judicial commission
as a forum provides an opportunity
for relevant faith and even contem-
porary societal issues to be heard,
not unlike those that are debated,
discussed and argued throughout
the country today, according to Co-
1980 Laura Men-
denhall (M.Div.)
was the recipient of
the 2012 Ernest
Award. She received
the award at the
Presbyterian Outlook
luncheon that
was held during the 220th General
Assembly (2012) of the Presbyterian
Church (U.S.A.). Mendenhall has
served as Christian educator, pastor
and, most recently, senior philan-
thropy advisor for the Texas Presby-
terian Foundation. She may be most
well known for her tenure as presi-
dent of Columbia Theological Semi-
nary. Jack Haberer, editor of the
Presbyterian Outlook, said of Men-
denhall, “Laura has been such an
extraordinary presence at Columbia
Seminary through new faculty ap-
pointments, new construction and
renewal of the campus. The reputa-
tion of that institution for making
great pastors was enlarged by her
tenure there.”
1984 C. Dale German (D.Min.)
was been honored by
The Oklaho-
newspaper’s editorial board for
his letter that exemplified a timely,
fair, accurate and cogent viewpoint.
His “Foundational to faith” letter
was published July 20. German, 70,
is a retired pastor in the Church of
the Nazarene having served in Texas,
Arizona, California and Oregon. He
also taught at Nazarene Theological
College in Brisbane, Australia. Cur-
rently he is employed as an Okla-
homa City Ambassador. You can
find him driving water taxi boats on
Bricktown Canal.
The letter:
I’m not a scientist, but as a theo-
logically schooled retired pastor I’d
like to broaden “A matter of faith
vs. reason” (ScissorTales, July 14).
Detection of the Higgs boson is
an amazingly intriguing scientific
advance. May it yield ever more clues
of the origin of matter! My comment
has to do with the notion that faith
and reason are incompatible. Reason
is foundational to faith. Reason gives
substance to faith. Faith without
reason could become belief in total
nonsense. The origin of matter,
whatever it is, comes from something
else, whatever that is. Intelligent
design doesn’t exclude a big bang
“theory,” and a big bang theory
need not exclude an imponderable
intelligent designer. Let the believer
in God be excited about glimpsing
a “God particle” and not rule out a
big bang theory. And let the scientific
God particle chasers not rule out
the possibility of intelligent design
behind the Higgs boson. It need not
be “a super-colliding matter of faith
vs. reason, the God partisans vs. the
God particle chasers.” The dichotomy
is not mutually exclusive. No matter
how we got here, human life itself
is too complex to be random and
purposeless. It’s reasonable to believe
by faith that only Intelligence could
have put all of this together. Human-
ity’s greater task is to find out not
only how, but why.
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