Two years after South Sudan gained independence in 2011, civil war erupted in 2013. The conflict has displaced more than 5 million people, leading to massive human suffering and widespread famine. As part of its response, the 223rd General Assembly (2018) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) passed a comprehensive overture that provides a robust platform for the denomination’s Office of Public Witness to advocate for an end to this war.
Ordained to the ministry only three weeks earlier, the Rev. Ekram Kachu told those attending General Assembly’s closing worship Saturday that prayer is “about trusting in God while we are living in difficult times.”
Young Adult Advisory Delegates put their money where their hearts were during Saturday’s closing plenary, directing a $1,605 special offering they collected toward causes important to the General Assembly’s co-moderators and stated clerk.
The 113th New Wilmington Mission Conference (NWMC), regarded as the oldest annual mission conference in the U.S., will be held on the campus of Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, July 20–27.
In an unusual move, commissioners of the 223rd General Assembly (2018), waited until the Saturday morning plenary to approve an increase in the per capita rate to $8.95 for the next two years after postponing the vote on Friday night in an attempt to assure the increase covers the financial implications of all actions taken by this assembly.
The 223rd General Assembly swiftly took up Middle East issues in a late-night session in St. Louis on Friday night. Among the action items was the approval of an overture asking RE/MAX, LLC to end the sale and rental of property in the Israeli settlement colonies in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The overture also urges members of the company’s networks in the US not to refer clients to agents and brokers who are involved in the sale or rental of settlement properties.
The 223rd Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly on Saturday approved mission budgets of $71,589,237 for 2019 and $70,531,957 for 2020.
The hour was getting late, but commissioners sat up straight again to deal with the question of paid family leave on the last night of the 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
A cluster of overtures on family leave had come to the Polity and Church Orders Committee and now were before the Assembly. “Our committee was quick to acknowledge this is a justice issue,” said Ruth Huff, chair of the committee. “But the committee was also quick to realize it’s an extraordinarily complex issue.”
What’s an overture? What does it take to be a commissioner at a General Assembly? How are commissioners selected?
All these questions, and more, were answered this week for a group of six young women attending their first General Assembly this year.
In an overwhelming vote, the 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved a motion presented by its Assembly Committee on Social Justice Issues to recognize the prophetic witness of the Rev. Henry Highland Garnet, pastor of 15th Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., and Shiloh Presbyterian Church in New York City, and founding pastor of Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Garnet gave what is considered the most important speech in African American history as the first African American to address Congress on February 12, 1865.
This was one of many items brought to the Assembly by Committee 11. Committee moderator Bill Wildhack noted that his committee had addressed many difficult and challenging subjects.