Just finished a couple of days hanging out with the General Assembly Council as part of the whole Moderator adventure. Held at the Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville, it was interesting spending time with this element of the PC(USA) after spending a few years out of the denominational loop. I think the last time I was at anything like this was as a panel member at one of the Moderators’ Conferences during Rick Ufford-Chase’s term.
A few reflections . . .
- Low paper production thanks to the online versions of everything!
- We might just be "getting it." I was pleasantly surprised to hear many discussions about the fluid nature of the world and our need to adapt to it. While it was VERY clear that some folks really need a more concrete, compartmentalized and structured process and outcome, for the most part it seems like folks are really willing to venture into the unknown with measured optimism!
- Like most institutions, GAC sometimes may get stuck in unhelpful patterns of operating. With that said, it was very clear that the folks gathered here are clearly committed to discerning the will of God as best they can. The spirit of discernment and passion was evident. The breadth of issues discussed, the willingness to engage in some conversations and the optimism was wonderful.
- While the hotel ballroom setting is still a little stuffy for my own personal tastes, the general atmosphere and tone were uplifting and optimistic. It seems like the staff are dedicated and are providing leadership in ways that are freeing and forward thinking.
- It will be interesting to see what happens next as most of the current GAC seem to be rotating off and the new leaner GAC will come into fruition. It will be interesting to see how the tone and decisions made carry into the next manifestation of GAC.
- Program/issue highlights for me: Publishing seems to be rocking the walls with some great new curriculum. I heard a great report about the work of the National Network of Presbyterian College Women and Racial Ethnic Young Women Together. The Dallas mission consultation conversation still has some legs and there seems to be some energy around a conversation about how we minister to Presbyterian men. The Evangelism committee was particularly energizing.
The best part was connecting with long time friends, meeting facebook friends in person and meeting other folks for the first time. GA strategy/advice was given freely, encouragement was offered and in a few cases, I think a little suspicion was lobbed my way by a few folks, That’ totally cool. It was interesting that by far, the most common reaction concerning my stand for moderator was my age, with a distant second being my approach to information sharing and technology thus far.
Bloggers present that I know of in no order of anything that my memory 😉
That’s it for now. It was a very short time to observe, but overall, it was very positive. There are some good and faithful folks serving the church in the way, so please be sure to life the GAC up in your prayers.