There has been plenty of excitement and lots of smiles at the 223rd General Assembly (2018) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as Presbyterians from across the country have greeted old friends and acquaintances in the exhibit hall.
The goal of the hall is to display a wide range of resources and services that support the purpose of the Assembly and advance its goals.
Throughout the week various ministries and agencies affiliated with the PC(USA) have an opportunity to showcase their goods and services. “The exhibit hall is the immediate Presbyterian family and all of our cousins,” said Andrew Yeager-Buckley, program assistant with the Office of the General Assembly. Yeager-Buckley manages the exhibit hall with help from an advisory team made up of representatives from each of the six PC(USA) agencies.
“The whole community is made up of PC(USA) agencies, mid councils, nonprofits and various vendors whose products or services would be of interest to attendees at the Assembly,” he added.
Out of the 118 exhibitors, 13 are Global Marketplace Partners. These partners are excellent sources of responsibly made products. Purchases from the partners benefit not only the people who use and enjoy the items, but the people around the world who make them and desire to live in dignity rather than poverty.
Rahab’s Rope, one of the vendors in the Global Marketplace, was created to spread awareness and to help eradicate sex trafficking. Funds from items sold during GA help the organization provide education and vocational training to those who are at risk or have been forced into the sex trade.
Partners for Just Trade, another Global Marketplace vendor, was birthed from the Joining Hands Network and the Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery. Many of their products are made by Joining Hands partners in Peru, Cambodia and Haiti.
“This is a way for the family to teach the family what tools and resources are available to them through the church,” Yeager-Buckley said. “And while it’s not every resource in the church, it is a great representation not only of printed and digital materials, it also allows individuals to find out what people resources are available. The exhibit hall allows for people to forge relationships with not only with the national staff but with Presbyterians from across the country.”