From a Distance!
From a distance, I decided to prepare a short blog on how I experience the General Assembly from my home as a disabled teaching elder and at-large member of the Presbytery of Lake Huron. I just went on disability six months ago. I am still in the process of re-defining myself as a teaching elder experiencing the church from a different perspective.
I am experiencing the meeting of 221st General Assembly from the comfort of my home. I now have extra time to log into www.pcusa.org. From this page I can get to plenary sessions, PC Biz, and various articles summarizing GA business. I am grateful for the on-line streaming that has allowed me to catch a glimpse of what those who are in Detroit are experiencing.
I am grateful for social-media and the dozens of posts lifting up faces and experiences of those who are part of this Assembly. I have been able to share emails and FB posts with friends and colleagues who are in Detroit. The ‘connectionalism’ we celebrate as Presbyterians is visible / palpable through pictures and videos and short articles. As one who has attended many of these Assemblies in the past, I can feel the Spirit of God at work.
The PC-Biz is an amazing tool. Now that committees are meeting, I am able to follow work that is being done with various overtures. An Example:
I wanted to learn more about the new proposed Directory for Worship. While this is not one of the controversial pieces of business, it is a document that all teaching elders need to study as they create worship experiences faithful to our Presbyterian theology. I logged in. Amazed, I already had a password on file! I downloaded the document and plan to listen to the plenary discussion on this item of business. Yes, this item is going to be pulled from the consent agenda. http://www.pc-biz.org/PC-Biz.WebApp_deploy/(S(ll14lzm4n3iujv1bptzdrowt))/IOBView.aspx?m=ro&id=4711
I have decided that there is no predicting what this Assembly will do with the ‘hot’ issues related to marriage and Israeli // Palestinian relationships. I have my opinion. I have also learned, from past experience, that it is nearly impossible to know the heart of the assembly. I will be praying for the commissioners from the Presbytery of Lake Huron, of which I am a member. I will be praying for the new moderator Heath Rada and this Assembly doing important work on behalf of all Presbyterians.
I am listening. I am participating, albeit from a distance, as a proud teaching elder.
Honestly, as a disabled teaching elder unable to attend this assembly, I am feeling connected.