Saturday, July 3, 2010
GA 219-Day 3
So it is now 1:11am on Sunday morning. I am just getting back to my room after the first official day of business here at the General Assembly. Where to begin on the day?
For the first time today I walked into the plenary hall and found my seat as a Young Adult Advisory Delegate and it is a moment I will never forget. Most people who know me know that I am pretty enthusiastic about the church. I love the Presbyterian church, I love the reformed faith, the ability of the body to agree to disagree and yet come together on the common ground of Christ. A little more about that later...
Walking into the plenary hall, I saw chairs sitting out and realized just how big this is. I realized that I along with a little over 200 other people are here so the Church can hear our voice and engage with us in discerning where God is moving in the Church. I realized that together the commissioners and delegates are making decisions that will leave a lasting impact on the church in years to come. And I realized just how awesome our God is, to give us grace and mercy, patience, love, and kindness when we are cranky, when technology is posing problems, and when we just want to go to bed.
Tonight we elected a new moderator. It was exciting, not because the candidate I wanted to win won, but because we saw the body of Christ, divided in a vote come together even after the new moderator was announced and join in welcoming her as our chosen moderator. Unity, it is something we as humans often have a problem with. And after a few votes, a few technical difficulties, a few unhappy moments, the decision was final and we stood on the common ground that in the end Christ is head of the church and we work for the common good of all people around the world.
That is exciting, that is encouraging, that is what makes me proud to be a part of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It was barely a month ago that I found out I would be coming to the 219th General Assembly, and while I was excited I was also nervous. I have prayed, discerned, prepared, and listened in the last month. I have opened myself up to the Holy Spirit and to the people around me (especially in the last two days) and I have fallen deeper in love with the Church I have loved for years.
Before I left for GA my Grandmother told me that I am a 5th Generation Presbyterian (that she knows of) coming down from my Grandfathers side of the family. Why she decided to tell me, I may never know, but what I do know is that I am thankful for a rich Presbyterian tradition within my family. I am thankful for the opportunity to grow up in a church that encourages education, community, and social justice. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve this church in many ways over the last few years. But more importantly I am thankful for Jesus Christ who calls us, who leads us, and who breaks down barriers so that we can listen to one another and together discern what is God's will for our future.
My prayer is that as we move into the business of our committees we continue to listen for the voice of God from within scripture, from our confessions, from within ourselves, and from those around us. This is my prayer so that together all of us, from all ethnic backgrounds, from all ages, from all areas of the world, from males and females alike, and from all social and economic classes can together be Christ's church in this 21st century. So that we can rise up to the challenges of the world around us, to accept one another as God's beloved children, as brothers and sisters in Christ, and as equal heirs to the God's grace that is found in Christ. May we work for unity, for reconciliation, and for the hope a bright future in the Presbyterian Church. Thanks be to God for this General Assembly, for calling us as we are in this time and in this place to diligently and faithfully carry out the duties set before us. The road ahead seems long, but we do not travel it alone. Thanks be to God, Amen.