In Spirit and Truth is the blog of the General Assembly Committee on Representation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It will feature content written by the sixteen members of the committee, who are teaching and ruling elders from across the country, and our staff person in the Office of the General Assembly, as well as links and articles of particular interest. These blog entries are intended to prompt reflection and dialogue on aspects of expanding representation and supporting full participation in the PCUSA, especially at the assembly level. The ministries of advising, consulting, advocating, reviewing and recommending are vital to the life of the whole Body of Christ. Committees on Representation and/or their functions exists at all councils above session so from time to time we may highlight activities and insights from our sister committees on representation at smaller councils throughout the church.
Author Molly Casteel is an Assistant Stated Clerk and the Coordinator for Representation and Inclusiveness Services. She is a teaching elder (a.k.a. Minister of Word and Sacrament) in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary.
A visitor at this meeting, I was given privilege of the floor to advise the Synod commissioners about language in soon-to-be adopted Synod by-laws about the Committee on Representation.
What are you giving up for Lent? That was the question. In fact, I will always remember a new friend's answer to that question. She proudly said, "Do you know what I’m giving up for Lent? I'm giving up celibacy," and before I could feel my ears turning red and my cheeks blushing she announced "I'm getting married!" The idea of giving something up for Lent may or may not be in our Presbyterian/Reformed ethos. We tend to say that our grace-oriented faith does not require our efforts to purify ourselves to please God. But ...
In the summer of 2011, a historical document of the PCUSA became quietly accessible again with its online publication.
The General Assembly Committee on Representation played a role in making that happen when it did. They were concerned about the ahistoricity of conversations around Presbyterian self-structures in light of the work of the Mid-Councils Commission in 2011.
For over one hundred years there were all-Black governing bodies (presbyteries and synods) in the Presbyterian Church. A history of these structures was written and adopted by the 205th General Assembly in 1993. This document provides a rich understanding of the diverse expressions ...
As the horizon of human knowledge expands many traditions and words take on new meanings.
Initially, the Epiphany (gr. epiphaneia - "manifestation") was a festival that was celebrated twelve days after Christmas in order to remember the birth of our Lord, his baptism in the Jordan River and the manifestation of his glory in the celebrations of the wedding at Cana.
When in the fourth century, the Greek Church adopted the Roman date for celebrating Christmas ...
As a teaching elder commissioner to the 220th General Assembly in Pittsburgh, I had a big time “wow” moment during a PowerPoint presentation given in plenary, “A Snapshot of Presbyterians.” (1.2M) It was this shocking statistic: of the 688 GA Commissioners, ZERO were under age 25. ZERO.
So, how shall we increase participation of young adult commissioners at future general assemblies?
General Assembly did take action on this issue. The Review of Biennial Assemblies Committee’s item 04-01, Recommendation 5, (to create thirty-two young adult commissioners under age 36, 1 ruling elder and 1 teaching elder from each ...
Privilege, Power and Policy: The Church as Employer, the report of the Climate for Change Task Force to the 220th General Assembly (2012) and highlighted actions taken by the assembly.
Oh what a time we have had at the PW Churchwide Gathering here in Kissimmee, Florida. So many good conversations, shared stories and lots of laughter.
Today we got to meet a mighty mother-daughter duo, Connie and Amy. They met up in Florida from Washington state and Texas respectively. Connie was a voting member at the business meeting this Triennium and Amy served on the Churchwide Coordinating Team for a few years and was back to visit with old friends.
Today was the first day the exhibit hall was open and saw women gathering from across the world. Here are a few of the sights at the COR booth (#416).
We are seeing old friends...
At each and every General Assembly, the committee greets new members and says good bye to others who have completed their service. Two members leaving after this assembly have served for 8 years! Alma-jean and Stanley, you will be missed and we give thanks for the good work you have contributed and the legacy you leave for those who serve after you.
So it is with Assembly Moderators as well. This year, we said thank you to Moderator of the 219th General Assembly (2010), Elder Cindy Bolbach as her term of service ended.
Welcome to In Spirit and Truth, a new blog from the 16-member, General Assembly Committee on Representation (GACOR) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).