Plenary session during the 223rd General Assembly (2018). Photo by Danny Bolin.

Plenary session during the 223rd General Assembly (2018). Photo by Danny Bolin

What changes could improve General Assembly for future participants? What elements are the most important in how the assembly operates? These are some of the questions the Special Committee on Standing Rules of the General Assembly is asking in a new survey from Research Services in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The survey was recently sent to former commissioners and advisory delegates in hopes of getting good feedback on how to improve the assembly experience in years to come. 

“Emails were sent to more than 1,600 participants in the last three General Assemblies (223rd, 224th, 225th) as well as to mid council leaders,” said Adriana Soto Acevedo, co-moderator of the special committee. “But we feel it would be helpful to expand that to include anyone who has participated. This will hopefully give us a wide range of feedback that can help make future assemblies even better.”

So far, approximately 200 surveys have been completed, but committee members believe more voices need to be heard.

“Having ideas and feedback from across the church will be invaluable. We’ll be able to hear what’s working well, what needs improvement, and generally, what people think,” said the Rev. Cindy Kohlmann, co-moderator of the special committee. “Our charge is to specifically look at the standing rules, but the survey responses will inform all of our discernment work. We are consulting with other entities across the church including the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly, as well as various agency boards.”

The special committee was formed during the 225th General Assembly last summer and is tasked with proposing a new set of standing rules. The deadline to complete the survey is Monday, Sept. 18. 

“On behalf of the committee, thank you to all who take the time to participate! This is part of what it means to be a connectional church,” Kohlmann said.

Those interested in participating can get to the survey here.