Correspondence, meeting minutes, and clippings document Laird Stuart’s leadership within the PC(USA) and his work with the Covenant Network of Presbyterians.
The collection is divided into three series: The Covenant Network, 1997-1998; Ordination Debate Groups, 1997-2002; and Sermons, 1996-2016.
The Covenant Network series, 1997-1998, contains documents related to the administration and work of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians. The series includes minutes and correspondence from executive committee meetings; general correspondence between members; mass mailings from the network; and one folder of correspondence and articles related to Amendment A. The acceptance of Amendment A by the General Assembly in 1997 galvanized efforts to form the Covenant Network. The network unsuccessfully campaigned for presbyteries to pass the amendment in 1998.
The Ordination Debate Groups series, 1997-2002, consists of correspondence, agendas, and articles related to nine gatherings of Presbyterians on both sides of the theological spectrum from 2000 to 2002. The meetings were organized by leaders of the Covenant Network and the Presbyterian Coalition with the intention to form a space for respectful dialogue related to ordination issues. Two of the meetings were Bible studies hosted by Jerry Andrews of the Presbyterian Coalition at his church in Glen Ellyn, IL. In 2001, the PC(USA) Office of Theology and Worship began to coordinate similiar conversations, and the meetings were named the Pastor Theologians Gathering.
This series also includes correspondence related to the Call to Sabbatical project in 1998. This was a pastoral letter from six respected pastors calling for a 5-year sabbatical on overtures to the General Assembly regarding ordination and sexuality as well as on judicial actions arising from ordination debates. The Call to Sabbatical was not a Covenant Network initiative, although the organizers did solicit input from the network. The folders are arranged chronologically according to the date of each meeting.
The Sermons series, 1996-2016, contains 20 digital and two print copies of sermons delivered by Laird Stuart related to ordination debates within the PC(USA). Also included is a video, accessible in Pearl, of Stuart preaching at First Presbyterian Church (Portland, OR) on March 14, 2010.