Shawn Victoria MacDonald, Teaching Elder
Validated Specialized Ministry as a Psychologist
Theological Spectrum: Moderate
In the past 2 years, how often have you attended Presbytery meetings: As often as possible. Childcare and issue.
Local church responsibilities: Current: Specialized Minister with a Psychology Practice. National Capital: Transitional Pastor, Sixth Presbyterian Church, Parish Associate, Takoma Park. Lake Michigan: Founding Pastor, Pine Island NCD. Northern Plains: Interim Pastor, Mendenhall, Pastor WEA Parish (3 point ecumenical parish) Giddings Lovejoy: Associate Pastor, St. Mark.
Presbytery Responsibilities: NCP: Preparation for Ministry; Lake Michigan: New Church Development; Northern Plains: CPM, COM; Giddings Lovejoy: Outdoor Ministry.
Other governing body responsibilities (past and present): Commissioner Synod of Lakes and Prairies, Minnesota Council of Churches Ecumenical Advisory Board
Special skills, knowledge, expertise in relevant areas and compute competency include language(s) other than English: Skilled in conflict mediation with a knack for devising novel solutions, Counseling Psychology degree with a focus in multicultural concerns especially anti-racism, experience in the most urban and most rural parts of the denomination. As I am married to a Quaker, I have also been immersed in the Quaker process for decision making through listening to the Spirit of God and seeking consensus. I am fully computer literate and am happy to help others who are lacking in skills.
Community involvement: (Name nor more than three): Board Member and Chair, TransFaith/Interfaith Working Group
Please share with the committee what you believe are the key theological/social issues currently facing the church and society, and how they shape your experience in the church:
The world is changing and has changed far quicker than the church has been able to keep up with it. The Presbyterian Church is at a crossroads where it must learn to speak to a new day and time and be engaged in mission within a new economic reality. Having worked outside of the church as a Psychologist for the last decade I have a clear understanding of the world outside of the church as well as within it. The PCUSA needs to listen carefully to where the Spirit of God is leading us and make challenging decisions as we move forward. I see all issues as related – racism, environment, poverty, violence – and hope that as a church we can address these pressing issues in creative and unifying ways.
Please indicate why you want to represent National Capital Presbytery at the General Assembly:
I have wanted to serve as a Commissioner for most of my career in the PCUSA. My previous Presbyteries had lock-step seniority systems and twice my name came to the top of the list at the time when I needed to change presbyteries. I have attended about 10 General Assemblies as an Observer and am reasonably familiar with the GA process as well as the intensity of the commitment. In NCP I have not been able to consider becoming a Commissioner to General Assembly because of work responsibilities (that are now settled), caring for an aging mother (who has gone on to glory), and creating a family. This summer my children will be 4 and 6 and can survive without me for a week…they can also come visit in Baltimore. It is for those same reasons that my involvement in Presbytery and beyond has been limited, but I am now able to put forward more energy in this work.