Our New Moderator and Vice Moderator: Commissioners Blog

by Jim Lifton, Ruling Elder commissioner to the 2014 General Assembly from Chicago Friendship Presbyterian Church

Larissa Kwong Abazia is confirmed as Vice Moderator by Danny Bolin

Rev. Larissa Kwong Abazia is confirmed as Vice Moderator. Photo by Danny Bolin

Rev. Heath Rada addresses Assembly. Photo by Michael Whitman

Heath Rada addresses Assembly. Photo by Michael Whitman

It was a privilege serving as one of Chicago Presbytery’s ten commissioners – five teaching elders and five ruling elders – to our 221st General Assembly in Detroit.

The first order of business was electing our moderator and vice moderator, who will serve until the 222nd General Assembly in 2016. Well, actually the first order of business was making sure we could vote. We were supposed to vote via computer, but that didn’t work. Plan B was to use hand-held voting devices, but that didn’t work either. Plan C was paper ballots. That worked.

Three teams of candidates had been nominated. I had an opportunity to meet all of them and would have been grateful for any of them to have been elected. By the way, each team had one person with a Chicago connection.

  • Heath Rada, a ruling elder from North Carolina, and Rev. Larissa Kwong Abazia from New York City. Larissa was associate pastor at Lake View for four years before accepting her current call.
  • Revs. Kelly Allen and Leslie King, both pastors from Texas. Leslie graduated from McCormick and served as youth director at Wilmette.
  • Revs. John Wilkinson and MaryAnn McKibben Dana. John graduated from McCormick and served two churches in Chicago before going to Rochester, NY.

Heath and Larissa got a majority on the first ballot and were installed just before 11:00 p.m. Saturday. I thank God for these fine leaders and ask God’s guidance and blessing on their work.

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