General Assembly – Day 7

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Yes it was a big, long day at the Assembly.  Yes, there was remarkable things that passed – to our denomination taking a stand with immigrants, against the current administration’s policies, and so much more.  Yes, Joe’s committee made their report, Committee 7 – MidCouncils.  But it is the relationships that are formed that are the real power of the General Assembly.

Pictured above is Jimmie Hawkins and Catherine Gordon, of the Office of Public Witness in Washington DC.  At the far left is Sara Lisherness, who is in charge of the Office of Compassion, Peace, and Justice.  Sara and I go way back…to the World Council of Churches.  Jimmie and Catherine are much newer relationships.

A little background on Jimmie.  Yes, he’s a great preacher.  Yes, he is an insightful and incisive leader.  He is also willing to step in it!  Jimmie doesn’t have a passport right now.  And why?  He was arrested a few weeks ago on the steps of the Supreme Court for standing up against injustices in these dark times, and those which stand against PCUSA policies we have adopted.  I’m sure they will mail his passport back to him when they  done “processing” things in DC.  Jimmie makes waves…waves that need to be made.

He co-led the march the other day with our Stated Clerk, taking $47,000 of our dollars to the Justice Center to bail out many non-violent offenders.

Catherine works on the international side of Public Witness.  I look forward to connecting more with her and the important work of the Office of Public Witness of the PCUSA in Washington D.C.  Did you even know we had a D.C. office?  We do!

Jimmie and Catherine are two of the megaphones for God’s grace that we have, as we try to move into God’s Kin-dom and God’s Kingdom ever more fully.

I also had coffee with my friend Dennis Smith, a PCUSA mission co-worker in the Southern cone of South America.  Actually Dennis has been promoted and is in charge of all of South America now.  Holy cow!  He oversees the 9 mission co-workers in that part of the world, and works with the many ecumenical and religious partners in the area.

The Way Forward Committee made their report, and all their recommendations were adopted.  The way forward continues, and I sense there is going to be a significant shake up in the national office in Louisville within the next couple years.  There will be much more collaboration, and things are moving in a healthy direction.  That being said, it is going to be a difficult time for many as times of stress may continue, before they get better.

I am hopeful.  Hope for the way forward for our denomination.

May God continue to shed light on His Church, as we take on issues of divestment, environmental concerns, and so much more.

-Matt

P.S. Joe’s committee, Mid-Councils, usually is a pretty simple, straightforward committee.  This time there were some wrinkles, as they heard from some presbyteries requesting an Administrative Commission be formed, and with possible original jurisdiction.  It was voted for by the committee and the assembly.  Be praying for the Synod of the Covenant as they strive for health and wholeness.

 

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