Denise Anderson & Jan Edmiston
Co-Moderators of the 222nd General Assembly (2016) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
When they were discerning whether to stand together for Co-Moderators of the General Assembly, one thing became apparent very quickly: the Reverends Denise Anderson and Jen Edmiston had no intention to serve in this role without the other! They believed the denomination could only benefit from being served by a team.
As colleagues and friends, the Co-Moderators believe a partnership like theirs presents an excellent opportunity to take advantage of the denomination’s new rule allowing for Co-Moderators of the General Assembly. Through their partnership, the Co-Moderators plan to serve as examples of shared ministry in our denomination, in the hopes that what they model will be manageable and sustainable to a greater number of our Ruling and Teaching Elders and that they, too, would seek to serve the denomination in partnerships in the future.
The Rev. Denise Anderson was born in Oxford, England while both of her parents served in the U.S. Air Force. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia and continued her studies at Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C.
While under care, Anderson served on her presbytery’s Committee on Representation and as a Pastoral Assistant at Taiwanese Presbyterian Church of Washington, where she led the English Ministry. She wrote for National Capital Presbytery’s monthly newsletter, which later inspired her to start her own blog, SOULa Scriptura: To Be Young, Gifted, and Reformed. In 2014, Anderson accepted a call to pastor Unity Presbyterian Church in Temple Hills, Maryland. She continues to serve National Capital Presbytery where she continues to serve on the Leadership Council and as a Vital Signs© interpretation consultant. She is also on the NEXT Church strategy team, and continues to write, having appeared in a number of publications and contributed to the book, There’s a Woman in the Pulpit: Christian Clergywomen Share Their Hard Days, Holy Moments and the Healing Power of Humor (Skylight Paths).
The Rev. Jan Edmiston was born, raised, and educated in Chapel Hill, NC, where she grew up in the University Presbyterian Church. She attended Andover-Newton Theological School in Newton-Centre, Massachusetts and was ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament, having received a call to serve as pastor of the Presbyterian United Church of Schaghticoke, New York. She later earned a Doctor of Ministry in Christian Spirituality from Columbia Theological Seminary. Edmiston and her husband, the Rev. Fred Lyon, moved to National Capital Presbytery in 1989 to serve as Designated Co-Pastors of Fairlington Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, VA. She served the congregation for twenty two years before moving with her husband to Chicago where he accepted a call in Flossmoor, Illinois. She currently serves as Associate Executive Presbyter for Ministry at the Presbytery of Chicago.
Edmiston contributes to her blog, A Church for Starving Artists (https://achurchforstarvingartists.wordpress.com). She was also a regular contributor for Homiletics Magazine and the Alban Institute’s Congregations magazine. Throughout her parish ministry years, Edmiston served as moderator of the social justice committee (Albany Presbytery) and personnel committee (National Capital Presbytery), as well as taking leadership roles in the areas of church revitalization, new church development, and presbytery council in both presbyteries.