Sunday, July 4, 2010
GA 219-Day 4
The 4th of July, our nations Independence Day and a day where the freedom of speech was exemplified...to say the least.
We started the day off in worship, a worship with thousands and thousands and thousands of Presbyterian brothers and sisters gathered from around the world. The walls of our individual opinions were all left at the door as we gathered together to worship the God who has called each and every one of us here, in this place and in this time to discern together as a community where God is leading us. We gathered and celebrated the sacrament of baptism as a child was baptized during the service. We gathered from the north, south, east, and west, around Christ's table to share in the sacrament of Communion. We listened as former Moderator Bruce Reyes-Chow challenged us with a sermon focusing on the mountains we have before us as a denomination. Now we embark upon a week of mountains, trembling mountains, mountains that need to be addressed here and now.
After lunch we headed off to our first committee meetings. My deepest prayer for these committee meetings, is that we are all looking and listening to discern the voice of God in each person who steps to the mic to speak. INCLUDING those people who we think to ourselves "There is no way that he/she could possibly be speaking the voice of God on this issue." The reality is that it is very easy for us to think that our opinion is the voice of God and that is the end of the story, but the reality in Christ is that God speaks to each of us and through the power of the Holy Spirit we discern that voice and should share it with the body of Christ because it is in listening to one another, the many voices, the many opinions, the many accents, and the many languages, that we can together as one body discern together what God is saying to us as a church and as the arms, legs, and mouths of Jesus Christ in the world today.
I have been asked many times today "So, how is the YAAD (Young Adult Advisory Delegate) experience? And I have thought about it a lot. So far these are my responses.
1) It is overwhelming and tiring. This work is not a walk in the park. Any time that we commit ourselves to discernment it takes patience and commitment. Serving the church in this capacity is exciting and scary at the same time. BUT it is work that we all feel called to do and because of that we challenge our bodies and minds to carryout the task that is before us.
2) It has been AMAZING, especially to see the YAAD's so excited about the church. It is not everyday that I get to see young people excited about the PCUSA and with that being said, I hope that this excitement flows from this Assembly into our everyday lives so that others might see the excitement and share in it with us.
3) I have made a personal decision, in lunch/dinner/free-time to sit or "hang-out" with people who are not YAAD's for many reasons. The main reason is because we as young people have heard for many years that we are the "future" of the church, and yes that opinion is changing, but if I claim to be the church here and now, then I feel that I need to make an effort to get to know and share with my brothers and sisters of all ages. So I have had conversations with many people of all ages, ethnicities, and walks of life. It has been the most rewarding experience for me to get to know them, to ask them questions, to answer the questions they ask of me, and to walk with them in this journey that is before us.
Lastly, the picture for today's post was taken at the Moderator's reception before dinner and fireworks. From left to right you see Gradye Parsons, Vice Moderator Landon Whitsitt, Moderator Cynthia Bolbach, and Myself. Unfortunately the lifesize cutout of John Calvin was not there, but I will post a picture of it sometime soon.
Continue to keep the 219th General Assembly with all of its commissioners and delegates in your prayers. As well, keep the church in your prayers as we make decisions this week that will impact the future for all of us. This is not my journey at General Assembly, but our journey as a community of belivers.