En reconocimiento de muchos de susmiembros para quienes el Inglés es su segundo idioma, la 221a Asamblea General (2014) de la Iglesia Presbiteriana (EE.UU.) hace todo lo posible para asegurarse de que todos los asistentes entiendan los temas en su primer idioma.
La 220a Asamblea General (2012) estableció que los documentos esenciales se traduciran en español y coreano, y la interpretación ha sido parte en muchas asambleas pasadas. Antes de la Asamblea, todos los temas han sido traducidos a los dos idiomas, y se publico en el sitio web de PC-Biz.
Participants and observers of past Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assemblies have noted the tendency for debate to get bogged down in parliamentary gymnastics rather than focusing on the issues themselves.
To that end, the Committee to Review Biennial Assemblies suggested a new idea for the Assembly: allow commissioners time during plenary for discernment, small-group discussion and prayer about two contentious issues.
Linda Valentine was confirmed for a third four-year term as executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency by a loud chorus of affirmation Thursday at the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) No previous executive director has served more than two terms.
“I believe we have made great strides with Linda as our leader,” said Matt Schramm, chair of the PMA Board. He praised integrity, intelligence, humility, strategic leadership and graciousness.
With the words "blood is a sign that something serious is at stake," Egyptian theologian Anne Zaki grabbed the attention of the 221st General Assembly (2014) during Thursday's daily worship.
"Blood is a sign that something serious is at stake," she said, both for the hemorrhaging woman healed just by touching Jesus’ clothing and, of course, later at the cross of Christ himself.
Commissioners to the 221st General Assembly (2014) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) realized they had come to a stopping point over two complicated and potentially contentious issues Wednesday night, and that realization drew a compliment from General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons.
“I commend commissioners for dealing with complicated materials,” Parsons said shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday, “and for knowing when they were ready to move forward and when they were not.”
Once they get the hang of the 60-second Speakout sessions, commissioners at the 221st General Assembly (2014) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) use the pithy podium of democracy with great success.
Speakout is a chance for commissioners and advisory delegates to publicly tell their colleagues whatever is on their mind – including birthday best wishes for their children back home, prayer requests and blessings they’ve received at GA. But they must get to the point: after one minute, Moderator Heath Rada – very politely – calls time.
The first extended debate at the 221st General Assembly (2014) involved not the more high-profile issues facing the meeting. Those will come later this week. Wednesday's opening plenary session instead included a lengthy discussion of whether childcare and other family-friendly options should be offered at the biennial gatherings.
A Commissioner’s Resolution sought to require childcare and family-friendly options, and the Assembly Committee on General Assembly Procedures recommended that the request be referred to the Committee on the Office of General Assembly to develop a childcare program that would address legal and insurance concerns.
By an overwhelming vote, the 221st General Assembly (2014) sent a proposed amendment to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Book of Confessions that would add the Belhar Confession, which has its roots in the struggle against apartheid.
Before it can be added to the denomination's confessions, the Belhar would have to be ratified by 116, or two-thirds, of the denomination's 171 presbyteries – each by a two-thirds vote – within the next year. Then the 221nd General Assembly (2016) must again approve inclusion in the Book of Confessions. Belhar would join the 11 Eurocentric creeds and confessions in the second part of the PC(USA) Constitution. It would also be the first addition to the Book of Confessions in nearly 30 years.
In recognition of its many members for whom English is a second language, the 221st General Assembly (2014) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) goes to great lengths to make sure all attendees understand the business in their first language.
The 220th General Assembly (2012) mandated that essential business be translated into Spanish and Korean, and interpretation has been part of many past assemblies. Before the Assembly, all the business was translated into both languages and posted on the business website, PC-Biz.
Inspiring the Assembly with a vision cast by the Presbyterian Mission Agency for the whole church, PMA Deputy Executive for Mission Roger Dermody today summarized the objectives of a new churchwide initiative, Living Missionally, which was unanimously adopted as part of the consent agenda of the 221st General Assembly (2014).
“The Living Missionally initiative seeks to inspire Presbyterian congregations to reach out to their communities through intentional acts of service in Christ’s name, which many of our churches are already naturally doing,” Dermody said. “It’s in our DNA.”