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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.
July 1, 2015 8:53 a.m.
As I look over the monthly columns that I have written in the past twelve months, I realize that a fourth of them have been about racism. The latest public incident is the murders at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church (Mother Emanuel) in Charleston, South Carolina. Mother Emanuel is another in a long tragic list of African American churches that have been bombed, burned, shot up, and defaced.
June 22, 2015 10:11 p.m.
A new edition of the Advisory Handbook has been released to continue the work of providing “models of ways presbyteries are responding to unique and emerging issues related to the preparation and equipping of persons for ordered ministry as a teaching elder” (General Assembly Minutes, 2014, Part 1, pages 378-79).
The 220th General Assembly (2012) created a special committee to review the overall preparation for ministry process and the particular role of the standard ordination exams within it. One of the key findings of that special committee was that there had not “yet been sufficient time for the church ...
June 2, 2015 4:01 p.m.
People like to use numbers to measure. Your doctor wants to know your blood pressure, your dentist wants to know how many times you floss, and your spouse wants to know on what temperature the thermostat is set. In the church we tend to count two things: how many members and how much money. In some sense we are counting how much have we gathered in our fold. But what if we counted a different measurement?
May 18, 2015 4:03 p.m.
Perhaps it is because of graduation season, but I have received several inquiries recently about how long it is taking our graduates to find calls to ordained ministry. Having done some research to respond to these questions, I thought there would probably be a broader audience with interest in what I discovered.
To begin, I need to stress that the proper question within our polity is not really, “How long after graduation?” but rather, “How long after ‘certification of readiness to be examined for ordination, pending a call’?” Within our church, eligibility for ordination is not primarily determined by seminary ...