I head to Pittsburgh today to join my PCUSA brothers and sisters for the 220th General Assembly, which is part denominational Congress/part family reunion. It’s my first GA as a Presbytery Staffer and I’ve been told that my role is to connect with people. Excellent.
While the Commissioners vote on everything from a new moderator to overtures on divestment, I will be having lunch with a favorite theologian, coffee with someone interested in Third Place Ministries, and wine with friends celebrating the ministry of the current Moderator.
What I expect to happen:
- The press – if they cover General Assembly at all – will cover same sex marriage and divestment (because those are the most controversial and ostensibly the most interesting topics) but barely mention the election of the new moderator or changes in the Board of Pensions policies.
- Presbyterians will geek out on things that nobody else in the world cares about. In other words, we will enjoy a sentimental journey connecting with old friends and colleagues, some of us knowing each other long before denominations had become culturally diminished.
- The usual party favors will be handed out in the convention cent, but – due to the economy – there will be fewer water bottles and more pencils.
- The Spirit will be present. Theological enemies could leave at the end of the week as friends. Scales could fall from eyes. Trust in God could be bolstered.
This last expectation is my favorite, but it’s easier to get pumped up by free water bottles. It’s easier to sit with our favorite people and demonize our least favorite people. But I ask for your prayers today for lives that will be changed this week. And I’m not just talking about the elders who will be elected as Moderator and Vice Moderator who will spend lots of time on planes in the next two years.
Peace be with us.