Thoughts on the General Assembly by advisory delegates.
Wow! Yesterday was my last day of committee meetings! While I can’t discuss specifics of what went on in my committee, it was certainly interesting, occasionally nerve-wracking, and a whole lot of fun!
Most of the other YAADs in my committee and I all sat at one table, nicknamed “YAAD Row” by some of the other commissioners. We made a concerted effort to be serious and to really represent Presbyterian youth in a mature and respectful manner. It’s so important for young people to have the opportunity to vote on the church’s important issues, and I can say for certain that all of the YAADs take that responsibility very seriously. That being said, we did also like to have fun during breaks—yesterday we put on some They Might Be Giants and had a spontaneous dance party, and led the whole committee in some YAAD energizers! We believe in keeping things exciting.
As someone who did Model UN in high school and who likes to think of myself (however unjustified) as being pretty good at parliamentary procedure, I still ended up amazed at the intricacies of the way we do business in the PCUSA and how much we endeavor to make sure that everyone has an equal voice and equal rights, both in committee and on the plenary floor. I really like and appreciate how we truly do things “decently and in order” in an attempt to discern together God’s will for the church and the world, even if we have to file and call motion after motion after motion. But I was so grateful that I had the opportunity to make my voice heard in committee, and that I was treated with respect both by our leadership team and the other commissioners, even those with whom I disagree theologically. I really saw in my committee meetings a vision of what the church could be; a place of mutual respect and love and understanding, where we all work together to do the business of the church in a Spirit-filled way.
This afternoon we go into plenary. My presbytery is bringing snacks to keep us going full-speed into the evening, where we will hopefully get some very important work done. I pray that the Spirit will come in us and among us all, helping us to do all things to glorify God and bring about justice and righteousness for the entirety of our human family.
by Rachel Rothenberg