Category Archives: General Assembly

Presbyterian Polity, Program and Mission Educator Certification Course

Christian educators, teaching and ruling elders, and church members are sometimes not aware of the rich resources in the Book of Order, and the ability of polity to empower congregational ministry, faith formation, spiritual practices, and vocation as a mark of the God who sends the church into the world.

Exploring polity in the context of the General Assembly will provide participants a broad understanding of the structure, governance, and mission of the PC(USA) and a vibrant picture of the church at work on the important issues that shape life and faith. In addition, access to the exhibit hall will provide lively interaction with resource materials produced by the denomination and the people who actively engage the denomination in ministry and mission. Through participation in worship, observation of committee discernment, plenary debate, decision-making, and interaction with denominational leadership course participants will be immersed in the work of this council that brings the diverse church together as one representation of the body of Christ.

The course begins at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday morning, June 18, and concludes at noon on Wednesday, June 22. The instructor is Joyce MacKichan Walker. Advance registration is required—select the Educator Certification Course component as you register; the $320 fee includes the course fee and the GA registration fee.

For more information, contact Debbie Hough, chocdce@nullderrypres.org

AIDS Ministry Conference – Scholarships available!

Greetings!

I’m writing to invite you to attend an exciting event later this fall – “Creating AIDS Competent Churches and Church Leaders: Remembrance, Repentance, Responsibility” at Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary, Nov. 29 – Dec. 1, 2012.

At the direction of the 219th General Assembly (2010), the Office of Public Witness (OPW) is partnering with the Presbyterian AIDS Network (PAN) to promote “Becoming an HIV and AIDS Competent Church: Prophetic Witness and Compassionate Action” policy.  We learned earlier this year that Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary (JCSTS – the PC(USA) constituent seminary in ITC in Atlanta) is launching a new academic certificate program on “Creating AIDS Competent Churches and Church Leaders.”  They are launching the introduction of this new certificate program at this conference Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta.

PC(USA) Office of Public Witness

In the OPW, we were so excited about this that we reached out to partner with JCSTS. Check out our blog postinviting you to participate. In addition to contributing to part of the program, we have decided to offer partial scholarships to the general public, with a particular focus on seminary students
Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, Director for Public Witness, and I  will join Margaret Aymer Oget, Randall Bailey, Mark Lomax, Guy Pujol, Beverly Wallace, Teresa Fry-Brown, Laurie Robins, and Troy Sanders as speakers at the conference. The Office of Public Witness is proud to join with Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary and the Presbyterian AIDS Network in promoting this exciting new movement in the life of the church.and folks already engaged in HIV/AIDS ministry.

If you are already engaged in this ministry, come to share best practices and fellowship with your colleagues in ministry. If you are new to this kind of outreach, come to learn from the veterans in the field.  If you are considering enrolling in the new academic certificate program, you’ve got to be there! Our partial scholarships will cover conference registration and hotel accommodation.  If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please fill out the application. Applications from the general public will be considered based on interest, need, and merit.  If you would like to register directly, you can register online.

I am asking you to do two things:

1.      Attend the conference! Make plans to be there.

2.      Share the word about this conference and our partial scholarships with others who might be interested in brushing off old skills or building new ones around HIV/AIDS ministry.  A sample Facebook post is included below.

Important links:

Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary – look under “Featured News”

Conference brochure

OPW Save-the-Date flyer

Scholarship application

I hope to see you in Atlanta in November!

Sample Facebook post:

What does it meant to be a “HIV/AIDS Competent Church”?  Join others as we explore “Creating AIDS Competent Churches and Church Leaders”.  Johnson C. Smith Seminary is holding a conference on just that – Nov. 29 – Dec. 1, 2012, in Atlanta, GA.  The PC(USA) Office of Public Witness is offering partial scholarships, so visit OPW’s blog for conference links, a scholarship flyer, and the scholarship application.http://officeofpublicwitness.blogspot.com/2012/08/want-to-learn-more-about-hivaids.html

Blessings,

Leslie

Leslie G. Woods
Representative for Domestic Poverty & Environmental Issues
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) Office of Public Witness
(202) 543-1126

220th General Assembly

The following is a pastoral letter from the new Moderator and Vice Moderator of the 220th General Assembly, as well as Gradye Parsons and Linda Valentine regarding the 220th GA. Please share it with your congregations as you find it helpful to do so.

The letter is also online at the PC(USA) site.

July 7, 2012

To congregations of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

Earlier today, the 220th General Assembly (2012) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adjourned after a week of worship and work as the highest council of the denomination. Just under 900 elected commissioners and advisory delegates from every presbytery came from north, south, east, and west to discern together the mind of Christ for the PC(USA).

This assembly’s theme, “walking, running, soaring into hope” (Isaiah 40:31) was a fitting description of the assembly in many ways. At one level, the commissioners worked tirelessly—meeting literally well into the early morning hours today to complete their work—and doing so with much energy and passion. At a deeper level, the deliberations and discernment of this assembly reflect a church that is endeavoring to know how to demonstrate faithfully and effectively the gospel of Jesus Christ in the 21st century.

Some of the highlights:

Worship – The assembly paused daily in the midst of its business, in the same space, to worship. Each of the preachers used the same text, Mark 2:1-12, chosen by outgoing GA Moderator, Cindy Bolbach. Commissioners and advisory delegates prayed and sang often, using selections from the upcoming new hymnal from the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, Glory to God, which the assembly voted to commend to the church (available in 2013; www.presbyterianhymnal.org).

Community – Those who have experienced a General Assembly speak overwhelmingly of the sense of connectedness that develops over the course of the assembly, and this one was no exception. Group meals, committee work, mission tours, exhibit hall, and more provided opportunities to make new friends and reconnect with those for whom an assembly is a “family reunion.” You can get a sense of that community through the photo and video gallery and more at www.pcusa.org/ga220. The community extended beyond Pittsburgh, as well—thousands gathered in this country and around the world through social media to watch the proceedings (www.twitter.com/search/ga220).

Business – The assembly addressed roughly 800 items of business in the form of overtures, reports, commissioner resolutions and more. We commend to you PC-biz (www.pc-biz.org), the online site where you can read about each item of business. Some topics that were before the assembly are likely to draw media attention—perhaps they already have where you live. We want to highlight some of them, sharing with you the actions taken by the assembly:

  • Definition of marriage – The assembly chose not to change the current definition of marriage that is in the PC(USA) constitution, namely, that marriage is a civil contract “between a man and a woman.” Rather, through its action to approve a two-year study, the assembly is inviting the entire church to engage in serious, deliberate conversation on this issue.
  • Middle East – The assembly chose not to divest from three companies participating in “non-peaceful pursuits” in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. Rather, the assembly voted “to pursue a positive and creative course of action with respect to the current Palestinian/Israeli conflict,” and to “devise a plan of active engagement and projects that will support collaboration among Christians, Jews, and Muslims.” The assembly also approved a boycott on “all Israeli products coming from the occupied Palestinian territories.”
  • 1001 Movement – The assembly overwhelming supported a movement to create 1001 worshiping communities (www.onethousandone.org). Those communities of faith will perhaps look much different from traditional congregations, but those that are already underway—in coffee shops, shopping malls, even on bicycles—are changing the world and the church for the sake of the gospel.

Commissioners and advisory delegates wrestled passionately together in heart, mind, and prayer, yet did so respectfully and graciously. Rarely were votes taken that had a wider margin than 60%-40%. On marriage and the Middle East issues, the voting results were extremely close. More than once, commissioners rose with requests to reconsider items already approved.

Obviously, we are working through difficult issues that do not get easily resolved by one or two votes, or even within one or two years. Nevertheless, we stand firmly in the conviction and hope that God is present with us – behind, before, and beside us.

Each assembly committee opened its meeting with prayer and reflection on Paul’s encouragement to the church in Ephesus: “…making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (4:3). This is our prayer, as well.

We pray that every effort will be made to continue conversation at every level of the church—from congregations to presbyteries to synods to the General Assembly—encouraging and engaging one another, maintaining the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

May the good and faithful work begun in Pittsburgh continue, remembering that “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

 

In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who is our peace,

The Rev. Neal D. Presa
Moderator, 220th General Assembly

The Rev. Gradye Parsons
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly

The Rev. Tom Trinidad
Vice Moderator, 220th General Assembly

Elder Linda Bryant Valentine
Executive Director, Presbyterian Mission Agency
(formerly General Assembly Mission Council)

PCUSA Collegiate Ministry Locator

The Office of Collegiate Ministries is revising and updating the PCUSA Collegiate Ministry Locator. Pastors, educators, parents, and prospective students will be able to use this Locator to easily find and be in touch with a collegiate ministry near their college or university.

If you already have an established campus ministry, you will want to have it listed on the Campus Ministry Locator which is maintained by PACHEM.

The Locator can be viewed at http://www.pachem.org/index.php/find-a-ministry Once a representative sample of ministries are listed it will be linked from www.pcusa.org

In order to have your ministry listed on the PCUSA Campus Ministry Locator the following criteria must be met:

I. The ministry shows a welcoming presence and an active ministry specifically for college students.

  • Has a web site with directions and basic ministry information.
  • Demonstrates a public college ministry on the web site by
  • Specifically mentioning college students or campus ministry.
  • Having a name and contact person for college ministry (staff, lay person, student leader).
  • Showing evidence of at least one program for college students.

II. The ministry is accountable to some entity / council of the PCUSA [session, presbytery, synod.  There may be multiple lines of accountability, such as an ecumenical ministry, but one of the lines must be an entity of the PCUSA.]

III. The ministry has procedures in place for annual review of the Locator information.

Once these criteria have been met, then you can register your ministry by becoming a Ministry Member of PACHEM. Once approved, you will be ready to tailor your Locator information and to participate in the resource sharing of the PACHEM community.

For questions about PACHEM, email us atprovost@nullpachem.org or call Adrian McMullen, Associate for Collegiate Ministries, PC(USA) at (800) 728-7228, x5639.

Great Rivers Endorses 2nd Candidate for Moderator

Presbyterian News Service
by Bethany Furkin

LOUISVILLE – The Rev. Susan Davis Krummel, executive/general presbyter and stated clerk of the Presbytery of Great Rivers, has been endorsed by that presbytery to stand for moderator of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

She joins the Rev. Neal Presa of Elizabeth Presbytery as candidates for the denomination’s top elected office.

The assembly will be held June 30-July 7, 2012 in Pittsburgh.

“Since she became our General Presbyter, the Reverend Sue Davis Krummel has guided our Presbytery with a clear voice and a steady hand. She will do the same for the General Assembly when she is elected its next Moderator,” said Elder Gary Davis, moderator of the presbytery’s nominating committee, in a press release.

Before coming to the presbytery in 2003, Krummel served for 24 years in pastoral roles at congregations ranging from 30 to 1,300 members. She has served as a pastor, co-pastor, interim pastor, temporary supply pastor, associate pastor, interim associate pastor and co-associate pastor for youth.

Krummel has also served as moderator and stated clerk for the Presbytery of East Iowa and as moderator of the General Assembly Nominating Committee. She has taught polity at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and for the Commissioned Ruling Elder training for the Synod of Lincoln Trails. Krummel has also served as the moderator of a General Assembly commissioner committee and as a committee assistant.

A graduate of the University of Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in Speech/Communications and of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Krummel has also taken courses at the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center. She holds a certificate in executive leadership from McCormick Theological Seminary.

Krummel and her husband have two daughters and four grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and ballroom dancing.

Read the story online

Presbyterian World Mission – Oct 2011

Meet mission workers Jeff and Christi Boyd

Thanks in part to the work of Presbyterian mission co-worker Jeff Boyd, about 30 school buildings in Central Africa have been constructed that serve more than 9,000 children annually. Meanwhile, his wife, Christi, has helped develop 41 grain banks in the arid North of Cameroon.

While their roles are different, Jeff and Christi share a common commitment to working alongside African partners in ministries of empowerment.

Watch Jeff as he talks about Presbyterians’ collective commitment to mission and expresses his thanks to the church. Jeff serves as the PC(USA)’s regional liaison in Central Africa. He and Christi, facilitator for the Presbyterian Hunger Program’s Joining Hands initiative in Cameroon, have been mission co-workers in Africa for more than two decades.

Make a gift to support Jeff and Christi and other mission coworkers in the world

Come Explore the Recent Changes to the Book of Order

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

Blessings to you all as the “hiatus” of summer passes and we move into a new program year for so many congregations.  This summer, as always, finds our congregations quite busy with seasonal concerns and programs.

As the focus moves, however, there are concerns and responses that need attention.  Some of these focus on issues which followed the adoption of the amendments to the constitution of our denomination which formally implemented changes on July 10.

Two items were among the important items which suggest special interest.

  • Amendment 10-A was passed.  There are both implementation concerns and implications for church life that are wrapped in this issue.
  • A new Form of Government was approved. There are significant implementation issues at every level of the church.  Some are pressing and some others may follow less demandingly.

We have arranged four area meetings to explore the implications of  these recent changes to the Book of Order, especially as they affect local congregations. We invite pastors, moderators and clerks of session, session members, and other interested members of congregations in our presbytery. The dates and locations of the gatherings are:

Tuesday, September 13: 6:30-9:00pm (Eastern Time)
Unity Presbyterian Church
1207 Springhill Drive, Terre Haute

Thursday, September 15: 6:30-9:00pm (Eastern Time)
St John Presbyterian Church
1307 E Elm Street, New Albany

Tuesday, September 27:  6:30-9:00pm (Central Time)
United Presbyterian Church
130 E State Street, Princeton

Thursday, September 29: 6:30-9:00pm (Eastern Time)
Fairlawn Presbyterian Church
2611 Fairlawn Drive, Columbus

Each gathering will begin at 6:30 pm local time, and will conclude officially no later than 9:00. We will provide a light meal at each meeting.  While reservations are not required, they will be helpful as we plan for the meal. Please email Rhonda Seymour, with the number of persons attending, as well as the location you plan to attend.

We hope to see you soon!

Grace and peace,
Susan McGhee, Presbyter for Common Life
Lawrence Jackman, Stated Clerk