In after-dinner remarks Tuesday evening (July 3) before the National Middle Eastern Presbyterian Caucus, the Rev. Kenneth Bailey, noted scholar and emeritus research professor of New Testament at the Ecumenical Institute (Tantur) in Jerusalem decried what he sees as “the forgotten faithful.”
The sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church here rang with the sounds of a Korean choir and Korean ministers on Tuesday (July 3) as the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK) and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) celebrated the 100th anniversary of the General Assembly of the Korean church whose seeds were planted by PC(USA) missionaries.
A long list of recommendations intended to show the church’s solidarity with immigrants and refugees in the United States will go to the full General Assembly for approval, following unanimous endorsement of most of them by the Assembly Committee on Immigration Issues. The committee spent nearly two days combining and amending 11 items of business, a number of which affirm actions of previous General Assemblies.
While many adults think of teens as carefree, some of the young adult advisory delegates (YAAD) participating in the 220th GA are teens whose lives are full of cares. Even though they’ve come to GA with worries on their heart, they seek to participate fully in the life of the larger church.
Deputy Executive Director for Mission for the General Assembly Mission Council, Roger Dermody and Presbyterian Hunger Program Coordinator Ruth Farrell celebrated a special Presbyterian Night at PNC ballpark Tuesday (July 3).
A new translation of the Heidelberg catechism was approved by voice vote on Wednesday afternoon at the 220th General Assembly. This approval now sends the catechism to the 173 presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for approval. If passed by a 2/3 majority of the presbyteries, the catechism will be enacted at the 221st GA in 2014 and will replace the current translation in the denomination’s The Book of Confessions at that point, becoming part of the church constitution.
By the time members of the 220th General Assembly Board of Pensions, Presbyterian Foundation and Presbyterian Publishing Corporation Committee finished work on Monday (July 2), they had addressed overtures ranging from a new hymnal to relief of conscience.
In a unanimous vote that ended with a standing ovation, the committee approved an overture commending a new hymnal—“Glory to God”—to the denomination. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s first new hymnal since 1990 features more than 850 songs and will be available in the fall of 2013. A sampler and full selection list will be mailed to each PC(USA) congregation after the Assembly.
The Presbyterian Coalition gathered for their annual dinner on Tuesday (July 3) at the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). They came to honor Terry Schlossberg, retired renewal advisor, and to hear “Tough Talk for Challenging Times” from the Rev. John Huffman, who served as the pastor of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach until his retirement in 2009.
At the standing-room-only Collegiate Ministries Luncheon at the 220th GA on July 2, Presbyterians were introduced to a new direction for collegiate ministries in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). In introducing UKIRK Ministries—which means University Church—Adrian McMullen, associate for the Office of Collegiate Ministries of the General Assembly Mission Council was excited. “Our churches are back in the game,” he said. “They will do college ministry again.”
After committee discussions lasted late into Tuesday night, the Assembly gathered Wednesday morning for the traditional service of Word and Sacrament with ecumenical partners.
A choir comprised of Princeton Theological Seminary alumni led the congregation in singing “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty” while worship leaders from north, south, east and west streamed toward the Table. Pastors from Java, Zambia, Scotland, Korea, Syria and Cuba were among the participants. Global music from the new Presbyterian hymnal, Glory to God, was used; Arabic, Korean, Chinese, and Spanish were sung.