Last week a friend of mine, we’ll call him Dave, coined a term that I have never heard but one that I embrace. He called me a “presbynerd.” I guess you can say that I am because as many of you may or may not know. I love the Presbyterian Church (USA), for all of the good that it does and all of the frustration that can come when you put a bunch of humans in charge of doing God’s will in the world.
So in about a month they will convene the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in San Jose, CA. I am super-pumped because I am getting the opportunity to attend the first weekend of this event. I am looking forward to the moderator elections and the opening worship service.
This will be my second time going to GA (as they call it) and it is like a family reunion for me. There will be a whole lot going on and a whole bunch of people will be there. Hopefully, I will run into some of my seminary friends as well as some of the people I have met throughout my life. Last time, I met a ton of people and almost every person I met knew someone I knew. It was like one degree of separation from people all over the world.
My experience at the last General Assembly in Birmingham, AL back in 2006 was tough. There were people who disagreed, people who wouldn’t even pray with one another. Let me tell you that is hard to watch; when “brothers and sisters” in Christ can’t look past our differences even to pray for guidance from Almighty God.
I know this year, once again, will be ripe with controversy. Some people will say that we are doomed and going to Hell. Some will say we have finally got it right. Some will say that nothing has changed. It is hard to please everybody. It is hard to watch your family bicker and threatened to tear itself apart. It will happen, it has happened, it will continue to happen. Some people (me included) are so stuck in their ways that anything that is different from them is terrifying and therefore “of the Devil.”
My hope and prayer for the GA is to learn to trust one another.
I HAVE HOPE!!!
I was looking around on the GA website (www.pcusa.org/ga218) and I noticed that there was a youth committee this year. As one who works with youth, that makes me super-excited. They have a focus statement and a list of resources (some I have already checked out).
One of the resources I wanted to share with you (you may see it again sometime) is a devotional for youth that is a collaboration between the PC (USA), the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and the Episcopal Church in America. Here is the link. It is pretty cool there is music playing and it invites you to pause, listen, think, pray, and go. You should definitely check it out.
I hope to be able to provide more updates of the workings of the Youth Committee at GA and get some ideas about how to help strengthen our youth group as we walk together down the long and winding road we call faith.