View Larissa Kwong Abazia, Vice Moderator of the 221st General Assembly (2014) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), as she discusses the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly churchwide conversation. Go to www.pcusa.org/identity by December 18 to join the conversation.
My name is Larissa Kwong Abazia. I’m the Vice Moderator of the 221st General Assembly [of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)]. And I want to tell you a little bit about the COGA [Committee on the Office of the General Assembly] consultation for the Church. And it’s COGA’s opportunity to hear responses and reflections from across our denomination about who we are as Presbyterians and why the denomination matters to our local congregations, mid councils, and the larger Church. So this is our opportunity to offer feedback and responses to start off the process of dreaming and envisioning how we can best serve the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
You know, I think we’re really looking for individuals, and congregations, and sessions, and even presbyteries, especially, to engage in this conversation and so it would be great to have a session gather in a meeting and really reflect on these questions together and then respond in the format that we have provided; and presbyteries to do the same. Or even individuals to talk about their own experiences within their congregations.
You know, there’s so many different aspects and areas of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that aren’t often in dialogue with one another. So, we have a lot of racial ethnic constituency groups, we have our young adult volunteers, our camp and conference centers, our seminaries and seminarians, and their professors, and the staff, and the administration. We have college chaplains and college students, youth, and young adults. And that’s just to name a few off the top of my head. I think the widest scope of people that we can get to engage in this conversation and connect with other people in small groups and inter-generational would even be great too. It’s really just going to deepen this conversation as we prepare for the next General Assembly.
So after the format is completed and we get as many responses as we can from the larger Church we’ll be taking that and creating a report that, then, the next General Assembly commissioners will be able to use in their discernment at the next General Assembly about “what does it mean for us to be the Presbyterian Church” in the denomination today. And it won’t just be a conversation that we have now and then we’ll have to hold on and wait until June but both Hearth and I are hoping to encourage people to then continue the conversation between now and the next General Assembly so that we’re all engaged and invested in what it means for us to be the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Join the conversation by December 18 at pcusa.org/identity.