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ASSEMBLY in brief 2010
With an unusually large number of contentious issues on the agenda, the 219th General Assembly (2010) — with the theme “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38) — could have been a stormy crossing. Th at it wasn’t is a tribute to the spirit of civility and unity that predominated among the 712 commissioners and 200 advisory delegates who diligently adhered to their commissions “to discern the mind of Christ.”
They were also well-served by two calm and competent leaders — Moderator Cynthia Bolbach and Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons. While no Assembly produces consensus on many issues, the 219th General Assembly demonstrated Presbyterian governance at its best — elders, ministers and advisers worshiping, laughing, praying, singing, studying, debating and navigating potentially treacherous waters together to seek the best way forward for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Welcome all to the 219th General Assembly (2010)
Several commissioners and advisory delegates have been invited to blog about their experience of the General Assembly.
March 1, 2015 11:04 a.m.
There is something about snow that binds together a neighborhood. I noticed on my street that the first driveway cleared was the house of the widow of one of our more colorful characters. She never touched a shovel. People helped each other push their cars out of icy ruts. As our streets became more narrow, folks did the dance of who went first with some grace. Without any discussion we agreed to only attempt the hill at the entrance one at a time.
“The Brief Statement of Faith” says this:
The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith,
sets us ...
February 1, 2015 11:22 a.m.
There is this space between the Baptism of the Lord and Ash Wednesday when we return to ordinary time in the church calendar. In ordinary time there are still plenty of extraordinary occasions. There is this general sense of leaning into the New Year. We get a lot of ordinary questions during these days. Questions such as “what is the proper order for committee reports at a congregational meeting?” Questions like “which is better, a pipe organ or electric?” Or, “can I count the Smiths on our statistical report even though they never joined?”
In a season where the church ...
Stated Clerk's Column: January 2015 - Tear down walls by building relationships, advocating for justice, and listening
January 1, 2015 9:13 a.m.
If you ever watch any show on HGTV you know that every remodeling project will involve a wall coming down. The homeowner usually takes a few swings with a sledgehammer for show, and then the pros take over. The reasons these walls come down vary. Usually it is about creating greater flow, or better entertainment, or a more spacious feel. Whatever the reason, it is the opposite reason of what a wall does.
Tracy Kidder wrote a book titled House. It followed the construction of a house from acorn to last nail. He states that walls define a room's purpose. I have often thought about that when I am faced with walls that attempt to define people.
Stated Clerk's Column: December 2014 - Link daily toil and holy quest in a deeper, earthier way this Advent
December 1, 2014 10:21 p.m.
A barn with cattle and horses is the place to begin Christmas. After all, that’s where the original event happened, and that same smell was the first air that the Christ Child breathed.—Paul Engle
It is probably fair to say that those candle shops that do a big business at Christmas don’t have candles that smell like barns. Before anyone goes on the offensive, I have been around enough barns to know that a farmer worth his or her salt keeps a clean barn. Engle does make the point that the rarified air of our elaborate nativity ...