Before a concert by Grammy-winning gospel/jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum on Thursday night, a video of the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., was played. Nelson echoed his quote printed on the back of the Hands and Feet initiative information card given to concert-goers:
“We don’t want the Presbyterians to be simply another convention that comes to town, meets and spends some money, and then leaves without engaging the people and communities there in a sustained effort to support our Presbyterian brothers and sisters in making an impact.”
Even a church in motion needs a place for rest, which is why members of the Committee on Local Arrangements (COLA) of the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy were determined that prayer at the assembly would be both embedded into the week as well as embodied in those participating.
General Assembly Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson, II told attendees: “We’re in a nation right now that is struggling to get along with its neighbors, whom the United States treats “as if some people are less than others.” Nelson said being in Israel and Palestine recently was “as devastating as being in South Africa during apartheid.”
More than 100 Presbyterians gathered this week in St. Louis to make their voices heard regarding the U.S. policy on immigration. Since the White House began its crackdown on immigrants in this country, the church has been vocal in its opposition
Except for one slight language change, commissioners turned back a number of amendments to the committee’s recommendation, which will, among other things, change the structure of the denomination’s corporate entity, strive for cost equity among the various shared services delivered to the church’s six agencies and create a Moving Forward Implementation Commission to make what Jarvis called “course corrections that will be necessary” between the current Assembly and the next.
Calling gun violence “the greatest moral, ethical issue,” Atwood said, “In the ’70s and’80s, so many thought I was crazy to talk about gun violence when nobody cared.” He said he was more hopeful today, as more people, including young survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., are speaking out and taking action on the issue.
The Rev. Gradye Parsons, former stated clerk of the General Assembly from 2008 to 2016, accepted the particularly meaningful as it is named for his mentor. The C. Fred Jenkins Award is presented to those who have “given wise and prudent, and vigilant support to the Constitution and polity of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).”
The 223rd General Assembly (2018) affirmed the election of the Rev. Thomas F. Taylor to a third term as president and CEO of the Presbyterian Foundation. In a brief address to commissioners following the vote, Taylor said his service with the Foundation has been “the most meaningful work I’ve ever done in my life.”
When Irv Porter, associate for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Native American Congregational Support, and Jo Ann Kauffman, a commissioned ruling elder from Inland Northwest Presbytery, stood at a St. Louis gravesite and monument earlier this week, sadness swept over them.
Two Nez Perce warriors — Speaking Eagle and Black Eagle — are buried here at Calvary Cemetery in a pauper’s grave.
Impassioned tributes and deep gratitude flowed freely as leaders from across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s theological education landscape gathered Thursday for the General Assembly’s Theological Education Awards Breakfast to honor and celebrate two distinguished educators and trailblazers for marginalized people and voices.