Yesterday was a day of travel for many of our General Assembly Commissioners.
Early that morning the assembly hall was filled with people wearing red badges and black badges like me – red being those worn by General Assembly staff and support, and black badges worn by presbytery staff and support. The stream of travelers coming in was endless, the registration booth almost always busy, and by the end of the day the hall was filled with folks wearing blue badges, the voting commissioners, including our own Joe Meinhart and Melissa Gill.
Joe is an OCU sociology professor living in OKC and pastor at Davenport. Melissa is an attorney living in Norman and a ruling elder at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Norman.
While official business has not begun yet, and committees are not meeting yet, going to many of the pre-assembly events one can already get a sense of the “lay of the land” and a sense of what is coming.
Talk at my table at the Welcome Reception at 5pm yesterday was quickly filled with “What are your thoughts on all this talk of fossil fuel divestment?” and “What exactly would it look like for Presbyterian to truly care for creation?”
The picture above is the last reception of the day I attended, that of the Covenant Network and More Light Presbyterian Reception. We heard from Bruce Reyes-Chow and Clifton Kirkpatrick, former moderator and stated clerk of the GA.
All 6 of those running for co-moderators were also there, introduced themselves, and spoke of what their leadership would look like (and yes, there was some politicking involved too!). The Covenant Network is committed to LGBTQ advocacy, and I think it is fair to say all 6 candidates are a support of the work of the Covenant Network. Brian Ellison is their executive director and a good friend of mine. I am thankful for his leadership. The More Light Presbyterians is a network of churches committed to the same advocacy.
In the picture you see all of us joining in laying on of hands and praying for those running for the highest office in the Presbyterian Church.
And so while this day prior to the assembly may seem like a lot of fun and togetherness, there are moments of seriousness, and already one of the major issues of the assembly is coming before us – choosing leadership of co-moderators and those who will speak for the denomination in the coming 2 years.
Today will be Opening Worship, and then one of the major tasks – selecting those co-moderators. Committees will also get formally oriented, before they move into committee work for a couple days.
I hope you can join us for the Live Streaming of Opening Worship at 11am Central, and also the selection of co-moderators at 7pm. I have seen the bulletin and ate dinner with some singing in the choir. By all accounts it will be a moving worship experience. I encourage you to join us:
Live Streaming: https://ga-pcusa.org/