Ruling elder Alysson Janke has been awarded the C. Fred Jenkins Constitutional Services Award, which honors a person or group that has given wise, prudent and vigilant support to the constitution and polity of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
“I knew Fred not only as an exemplary stated clerk, but as a pastor and friend," she said. “I am so honored.”
The award was presented by the Association of Stated Clerks of the PC(USA) during their gathering on July 1 at the meeting of the 220th General Assembly.
The award is named in honor of the late C. Fred Jenkins, who served as an associate stated clerk of the General Assembly for 11 years before his unexpected death in 2000. The citation given to Janke noted that "she is an exemplary model among the ranks of stated clerks. She is noted for her respect, trusted counsel, warm friendship, pastoral sensitivity, her good humor marked by a sly smile, and just plain good sense."
In addition to her tenure as the stated clerk of John Knox Presbytery since 1995, Janke’s service to the church includes her role as General Assembly parliamentarian for the last eight assemblies, membership on the Advisory Committee on the Constitution of the PC(USA), teaching polity to seminary students, and counsel in numerous judicial cases, all while being a wife, mother and manager of a Wisconsin dairy farm.
In her remarks, Janke spoke about the time she got a call from a new clerk of session in the presbytery. The clerk said that she had called her dad, who worked for the General Assembly, for advice. Her dad refused to answer the question and told her to ask her own stated clerk.
“And her dad was Fred Jenkins,” Janke said.
That was the day Janke claims that she learned her first lesson as a stated clerk. “I learned that the way we work with each other is by saying you need to ask your clerk. I’ll always remember Fred for that.”