2012 Distinguished Alumna Award Recipient: Rev. Tricia Dykers-Koenig

McCormick’s 2012 Distinguished Alumna award recipient, the Rev. Tricia Dykers-Koenig, has spent her adult life quietly and methodically working on behalf of those who are marginalized by society and not given the opportunity to live up to their full potential.

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality." Romans 12: 9-13

Rev. Dykers-Koenig has worked on behalf of people of color, the poor, and those who need warm, safe and affordable housing. The General Presbyter of the Presbytery of the Western Reserve says, “She is an advocate for justice.”

For the past 20 years, Rev. Dykers-Koenig has worked on behalf of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community. More recently, she has worked to open the door for the ordination of gay and lesbian individuals, through successfully organizing a change in the language and stance of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Rev. Dykers-Koenig played a seminal role in helping the Covenant Network navigate the changes that eventually led to the acceptance of Amendment 10-A, now known as G-2.0104b, in the Book of Order.

Rev. Dykers-Koenig’s first national involvement in the movement for full inclusion of GLBT persons in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was as a leader in the Unity Through Diversity Project, a joint witness of Presbyterians for Lesbian and Gay Concerns (PLGC) and the More Light Churches Network, two organizations working for change in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s restrictive ordination policies. She then served on the Board of PLGC, which became More Light Presbyterians during her term. Since 2000, she has been the National Organizer for the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, an organization that works for needed change through active programs of informing, networking, and advocating. The Covenant Network is committed to helping the church stay together in faithful ministry, even as it studies the Scriptures and seeks the mind of Christ on the question of ordination standards and other matters.

McCormick’s Distinguished Alumna worked to broaden support for a more inclusive vision and practice within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She has served the presbytery in numerous leadership capacities throughout the Church, including; Moderator of the Presbytery, Moderator of the Committee on Nominations, member of the Committee on Ministry, Committee on Session Records, and the Committee on Preparation for Ministry. As a member of the Committee on Preparation for Ministry, Rev. Dykers-Koenig has made an effort to visit with the inquirers and candidates for ministry. Further, she served on a Synod Executive Search Committee and as a General Assembly Commissioner.

Currently, Rev. Dykers-Koenig serves as the National Organizer of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians and as a Parish Associate at Forest Hill Church. Her education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion from Duke University (1976), where she graduated Summa cum laude, and a Master of Divinity Degree from McCormick Theological Seminary (1980).

Rev. Dykers-Koenig makes it a habit to have lunch with theologians with different perspectives other than her own. She freely offers care and practical support to others. This year, she made time to assist two congregations in transition as a preacher and moderator.

The 2012 Distinguished Alumna not only believes in the equity of every man and woman, she works to ensure their equity. Her vision of the world is that everyone – black, white, red or yellow – stands shoulder to shoulder. Rev. Dykers-Koenig lives by the famous words from Dr. Martin Luther King’s Letter from the Birmingham Jail, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

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