Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More on General Assembly

Recently the three Long Island representatives to the 219th PC(USA) General Assembly made a brief report about their experiences via email. Here are some excerpts:

Elder Gordon Moore - Despite differing theological positions, moral stances and social agendas, commissioners and advisory delegates were able to come together, debating a broad spectrum of complex and controversial issues in a spirit of love and mutual respect. In my view, much was accomplished, and throughout the entire process we were guided, refreshed and energized by “rivers of living water.”

One more thing – I am fully convinced that without the involvement and vital contributions of our young adult advisory delegates (YAAD’s), we could not have come close to accomplishing all that we did!

Elder Lorna Lisa – [Going to General Assembly] was a great privilege and a responsibility that I took very seriously but I absolutely loved!! I served on the Peacemaking and International Issues Committee which recommended to the Assembly that they call upon the United States government to end combat operations in Afghanistan. The PC(USA) had not taken a stand on the war since it began in 2001.

I left General Assembly with a feeling of renewed hope for our denomination (especially after listening to our YAAD’s) and a deep appreciation for the PC(USA).

The Rev. Wanda Lawry Hughes - Whenever I am asked to describe what it means to be a Presbyterian I always say that it means that every member has a voice and a vote. Unfortunately I suffered a bout of laryngitis and as I sat in my committee meeting and listened to the arguments about the Belhar Confession, a confession of faith written at the time of apartheid in South Africa in opposition to racism, God reminded me that countless peoples over the centuries have lost their voices due to racism and oppression. As I remembered that many voices had been silenced, I realized that I could not keep quiet. I had to speak out against racism and oppression. I had to speak out against fear. I had to speak up for justice, reconciliation and unity. And so I did.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

219th General Assembly Summary

Last Saturday the 219th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) completed a weeks worth of meetings, debates and discussions. A very quick summary is below:

Cynthia Bolbach, an elder from Washington DC, was elected moderator.

122 Young Adult Volunteers and 17 Missionaries were commissioned for work around the globe.

The Belhar Confession, a confession of Christian unity written by South African Christians protesting Aparthide, was approved for inclusion in the PC(USA) Book of Confessions. (Must be ratified by a majority of presbyteries.)

A new, simpler, more flexible Form of Government was approved to govern the church. (Must be ratified by a majority of presbyteries.)

Marriage as defined between a man and a woman was reaffirmed.

A comprehensive report on the Middle East was accepted which, among other things:
  • Called for an immediate cessation of violence on all sides.
  • Reaffirmed Israel's right to exist
  • Called for an end to Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories
  • Called for a freeze on the establishment of settlements
Replaced language requiring candidates for ordination to be faithful in marriage between a man and a woman or celibate in singleness with broader language requiring candidates for ordination to be faithful to scripture and committed to following Jesus Christ. (Must be approved by the Presbyteries.)

Called for an end to the war in Afghanistan.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Community Worship this Saturday

Offering will support The Bowery MIssion and Family Promise of Nassau County.

Music includes: Songwriter John Guardino, Men from the Bowery & Grace Lutheran's Becky Elfman

Speakers include: Father Frank Parsi of Our Lady of Lourdes, Pastor Fritz Nelson of Community Presbyterian, Darcel Whitten-Wilowski, Diocese of Rockville Centre and Evangelist Mary Bell

Bring your own chair.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Beatrix pops the question

Prior to voting for the new moderator at the PC(USA) General Assembly, commissioners get to ask them questions. Beatrix got the last question in - a query about same sex relationships - and some say her question decided the election.

Click here to go to the video of Beatrix asking her question and the candidates' responses.

Note: This is the video of the entire three hour plenary session. Beatrix's question comes around 2:38. You may have to let the video finish streaming before you can fast forward. Elder Cynthia Bolbach, the third woman to speak, won the vote and is now Moderator.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Beatrix Weil Commissioned

Beatrix Weil was commissioned as both a delegate to the PC(USA) General Assembly and a participant in the Presbyterian Youth Triennium at last Tuesday's meeting of the Presbytery of Long Island. In the below photo, Presbytery Vice Moderator Rev. John Underwood (in back, wearing stole) commissions both the Triennium delegation and the General Assembly delegation in one ceremony. Beatrix is second from the left. The youth are all going to Triennium and the adults (plus Beatrix) are going to the General Assembly.