For you non-Presbyterians, our occasional Presbytery Assembly meeting is for business and announcements. Ours meets five times a year, but other Presbyteries meet more or fewer times depending on their own desires and rules.
I staff our Presbytery but my responsibilities don’t involve planning these meetings, really. But I have some ideas – especially after such a long meeting last night and many other long meetings I’ve attended in my 25+ years of attending these things.
If I could change just 3 things about Presbytery Assembly meetings, I would do this:
- Have Pre-Presbytery events that looked more like TED Talks than church workshops. 10-20 Minute Talks About Ideas. Just imagine: Sculpted Space, Within and Without; The Global Food Waste Scandal; Photos That Bear Witness to Human Slavery – all real TED talks that members and friends of our Presbytery could also conceivably share from their own experience and expertise.
- (From the exceptional Shawna Bowman) Experience the examination of candidates for professional ministry to be a teaching moment during which they teach us.
- Show a stream of slides throughout the meeting showing images of what’s going on in our churches, photos of new pastors with their names and the names of their church/hospital/educational institution/etc., photos of pastors, educators, musicians, etc. with significant anniversaries which include their names and occasion (e.g. Susie Smith, Ordained 15 years on September 19. Joe Jones the organist of St. Nicholas became a dad on September 1 – with requisite image of cute baby) This would help us with names and faces, and the recognition of what’s going on for us corporately and personally. Also this would add interest for those of us who have attention deficit issues.
So, what would you change if you could change 3 things about your church, your presbytery, or (this could get interesting) your pastor?
Image is Water and Spirit by Shawna Bowman. See more here.