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220th General Assembly (2012) registration is now open

March 9, 2012

Louisville

Registration is open.  See How to Register for more information on how to register, purchase tickets, and request a reservation in an assembly hotel.

Please also see the FAQs for additional information about assembly arrangements.

Planning for your Time at the Assembly

The assembly will convene at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 30 and adjourn by noon on Saturday, July 7.  Download the full Schedule of Events for full descriptions of the many meetings, meals and other events taking place during the assembly, and be sure to check this downloadable schedule regularly for any changes that may occur.

Contact the G.A. Meeting Service to request a “QuickView” calendar version of the assembly schedule, which shows dates and times of official meetings, worship services, and optional events and activities.

Locations

The assembly business meetings will be held in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center (DLCC) in downtown Pittsburgh.  Most other meetings and events will take place there or in one of the assembly hotels or at First Presbyterian Church nearby. Event locations are included in the Schedule of Events.

Other Things to Do

Riverside Conversations

This is an optional pre-assembly experience for commissioners and advisory delegates to begin engaging the key issues before the assembly.  Three periods of 45 minute Conversations are scheduled on Saturday morning, June 30. 

Exhibit Hall

The exhibit hall will be located in the convention center, and will be open from 10:00 a.m. on Friday, June 29, through 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4.  This is an excellent way to find out about the latest resources and happenings across the denomination, so plan to visit the displays of each of the General Assembly agencies and many related projects and not-for-profit groups, and those of many commercial vendors.  The Bookstore (jointly sponsored by Presbyterian Publishing Corporation and GAMC’s Curriculum Publishing) and the Global Marketplace are both highlights of the hall.

Mission Tours

The Committee on Local Arrangements has planned several mission tours during the assembly; full descriptions are available in the Schedule of Events. These are excellent opportunities to learn more about the history and cultural offerings of the area, and to see how Pittsburgh Presbytery is engaged in mission. The tours are likely to be very popular and seating is limited, so purchase tickets when you register. Most tours are not available to commissioners and advisory delegates as they conflict with official meeting times.

Face-to-Face

Church Leadership Connection (CLC), a joint ministry of the General Assembly Mission Council and the Office of the General Assembly, will sponsor a Face-to-Face event at the assembly. Teaching elders and other church professionals seeking a new call may review Church Information Forms and schedule interviews. Search committees and mid council staff may review PIFs and make arrangements for interview times. For more information, call 888-728-7228, ext. 5225, or register on-line to attend.

Presbyterianism:  Principles, Practices & Social Teaching

The Committee on Theological Education, San Francisco Theological Seminary, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy sponsor this for-credit seminary course designed to provide “ringside” experience and analysis about the theology and social witness, mission and structure of the PC(USA) through the operation of the General Assembly meeting.  Classes begin on Friday, June 29.  Advance registration is required, auditing is possible for non-seminarians.  More information or contact Dave Tomlinson.

Christian Educator Certification Course

The Association of Presbyterian Church Educators sponsors this course on the Polity, Program and Mission of the PC(USA).  It will be taught by Joyce MacKichan Walker and Debbie Hough, and fulfills two course requirements for Christian Education Certification.  Participants study the PC(USA) constitution, complete projects, and attend assembly committee meetings and plenary sessions.  Through exposure to the assembly, they receive a broad understanding of the structure, governance, and mission of the denomination.  Classes begin Saturday morning, June 30 and end Thursday, July 5.  Advance registration is required – select the CE Certification Course component as you register; the $200 fee includes the $140 course fee and the GA registration fee. A minimum of 8 registrants (by May 24) are required for the course to proceed.  For more information, contact Karen VanGalder.

Assembly Worship         

There are many opportunities to worship together during the week, beginning with the Opening Worship Service on Saturday afternoon, June 30, 1:30 p.m.,where Moderator Cynthia Bolbach will be the preacher, and communion will be celebrated.  Preachers at the daily worship services are Margaret Aymer,  James Kim, Tony De La Rosa, and Yena Hwang.  Jerry Pillay, president of the board of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, will preach at the Ecumenical Worship Service on Wednesday morning.

On Sunday morning, July 1, all assembly registrants are invited to worship with Pittsburgh area congregations that are making special arrangements to welcome them.  Transportation is provided to those churches that are not within walking distance of assembly hotels or easily accessible by public transportation, and most of the churches are providing lunch to their assembly guests on that day.  Please sign up as you register so our hosts can arrange for transportation and lunch.   

Spaces for Prayer

Two rooms on the third level of the convention center will be set aside for personal prayer and spiritual refreshment and staffed by volunteers from the Committee on Local Arrangements.  They will be open from Saturday, June 30 through Friday, July 6 (closed on Sunday).

In addition, the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh (320 Sixth Ave., about four blocks from the convention center) invites prayer and reflection in the sanctuary from noon to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Other churches in the downtown area also offer open times for prayer.  Detailed information about these and other opportunities for prayer will be available on-site.

Travel to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is easily accessible by most major airlines, Amtrak, and Megabus.

Consider MegaBus if your city has that service – the stop in Pittsburgh is close to the convention center.  Pittsburgh is on Amtrak’s Capitol Limited and Pennsylvanian routes; the Pittsburgh Amtrak station is located downtown, very close to the convention center.  

The Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) is located about 18 miles from downtown (a 20-30 minute drive in good traffic).  Assembly shuttles will operate between the airport and the assembly hotels on Thursday and Friday, June 28 and 29, and from the convention center to the airport on Saturday, July 7. 

Commissioners, advisory delegates and others whose GA expenses are covered by the Office of the General Assembly or the General Assembly Mission Council will receive an email from the G.A. Meeting Service with instructions and a link for booking airline reservations through Cliqbook (an on-line booking tool) and Azumano, the assembly travel agency, so that the fare is charged to the appropriate GA budget.  Please wait to receive this email to book travel.

Assembly Accommodations

Discounted rates at seven hotels in downtown Pittsburgh are available to all participants, including observers, who register in advance.  For a reservation in one of these assembly hotels, complete your registration as early as possible. 

Reservations for rooms in these assembly hotels are made only through the G.A. registration process.  Do not call the hotels for a reservation.

Meals

Some group meals are provided at the convention center for commissioners and advisory delegates; other participants can purchase tickets.  There are concession areas in the convention center, restaurants in the assembly hotels, and many other restaurants and other dining outlets nearby. 

Many of the optional events listed in the Schedule of Events include a meal.  Tickets can be purchased as you register, and please also indicate special dietary restrictions.

Deadlines

  • May 24 – to request assembly housing
  • June 14 – for advance registration and ticket sales
  • June 14 – cancellation deadline (registration fees, less a $15 fee, will be refunded if notice of cancellation is received by this date) Other than for canceled events, the G.A. Meeting Service does not refund payment for ticket orders canceled after June 14.

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