Connectional and Collaborative

I am attending the 221st General Assembly in Detroit. If you’ve ever attended one of these events, you get it when I say that General Assembly meetings are an opportunity for Presbyterians to practice our connectional nature.

From the moment the plane’s wheels touched the runway in Detroit I knew I had come to a good land – a place that isn’t flowing with ‘milk and honey’ but is inhabited by a good and faithful people – and a week of hard work, laughter, and renewed friendships. My time here has been an opportunity to connect with old friends and to make new friends too.  The work I have seen in committees and in the plenary session demonstrates every cliche about working together yet the collaboration that has taken place demonstrates the unity that we have as members of a denomination and as the Body of Christ.

Among the highlights of this Assembly we have had opportunities to laugh at ourselves and to rise in blessing of those movements and individuals who have inspired us and by their faithful witness challenge us to move from our complacency.  We have engaged in Young Adult Advisory Delegate activities called “plenergizers” that get pew potatoes rocking in the meeting hall.

One of the critiques of such gatherings is that we tend to get bogged down with our work.  In fact, as I write this post, the Commissioners and Advisory Delegates are bogged down in a series of amendments that attempt to bring the right language to an item of business.  However, the right language is exactly what we hope to achieve and at times it is indeed better to ‘work as a village.’

So I celebrate our General Assembly and its meetings.  I rejoice and offer thanksgiving to God for this collaborative and connected segment of my extended family of faith.  I invite you to consider attending a General Assembly meeting where you can experience the great family reunion of our church.  Your next chance will be in 2016 in Portland, Oregon when the 222nd General Assembly gathers.

See you there!

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