It is swiftly becoming the norm. Person-to-person meetings are giving way to digital gatherings. That’s the case Tuesday when the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) hosts a digital Leader Briefing for the first time. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced church leadership to completely revamp the 224th General Assembly (2020) as well as the business that will be presented this year.
In the past, the Leader Briefing provided formal training for leadership of the various committees that were created to work on assembly business. This year, there will be only one committee, the Assembly Committee on Business Referral. Membership consists of commissioners that were selected to be assembly committee leaders.
“This year’s briefing will be substantially simplified since most of the assembly committees will not be participating in General Assembly,” said the Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA). “Usual agenda items such as introduction to other committees, budget and financial implications, and the various roles of leaders, assistants, and staff will also not be included.”
Nelson says members of the Assembly Committee on Business Referral will be charged with leading small groups of commissioners and advisory delegates to build community and allow participants to share various experiences.
“As I’ve said before, we are building the plane while we are flying it and are looking at the various ways to prepare for this historic, but brief assembly in June,” he said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world and it’s changing the way we conduct church business. I’m excited to see what’s in store for the PC(USA).”