Friday, June 27, 2008

Thursday GA Update

Here are some highlights from yesterday's General Assembly:

: The committee recommended the Form of Government Task Force report be referred to the presbyteries for study and discussion. Also, additional members will be added to the Task Force and they will be asked to review and revise it for the 2010 GA. The expanded FOG will be asked to take into account the comments from presbyteries.

The number of people added to the Task Force will depend on the number of the current members who agree to continue and will be appointed ONLY from the members of the committee that made the recommendation about the FOG Task Force report. This means that members of the New Covenant group that studied the FOG report and wrote an outstanding analysis of it are not eligible to be considered for the expanded Task Force, and neither is anyone else who may is not already on this GA committee. Folks, this sends the wrong message. Here's the PNS story.

FUNDING NCD'S AND CHURCH RE-DEVELOPMENTS: After descending into a parliamentary black hole--what with a reconsideration, an "arrest of the report", and confusion on the floor and on the podium, the original motion from the committee (08-15) passed after the arrested report was bailed out (pardon the pun!) and proposed amendments to it failed. I couldn't find a PNS story about this discussion, though.

MISSION INITIATIVE FUND: PNC pastor Rev. Dave Peterson, MDPC -Houston, addressed the GA to announce the Mission Initiative Fund raised $33 million in pledges for new church development. Dave is co-chair of the effort. Well done! Here's the full story from PNS.

GENERATIVE THINKING: And lastly, I pity the members of the Worship and Spiritual Renewal Committee that was required to use "generative thinking" as an alternative form of decision making instead of the traditional parliamentary committee format. The committee moderator reported that two members walked out of the committee in frustration and did not return and that the whole process was a "learning experience". I just bet it was! What a waste of time and effort -- the rules of parliamentary procedure help form the will of the majority while protecting the voice and input of the minority. "Generative thinking" strikes me as a New Age-y fad and I regret we burdened any of our commissioners with it. Here's the story from PNS on the subject. It seems to me the lesson to be learned is not to mess with this nonsense.

Today the election for Stated Clerk is scheduled. My presbytery's own Rev. Casey Jones is one of the candidates. Casey would be a wonderful Stated Clerk. I'll be watching this later this morning on the streaming video. This is the most important election of the GA.


reverendmother said...

QG, I am really appreciating these updates. Thank you.

Reformed Catholic said...

I've been following the GA on streaming video, and I do hope that that place has very good Air Conditioning, and the commissioners have plenty of access to caffinated drinks !!

thechurchgeek said...

QT -

Hi, I was one of those 'unfortunate' members of the worship and spiritual renewal committee.

It was indeed a painful process, but one thing I did appreciate...the GA actually trying something new!! Think how often the church is criticized for doing nothing new, for not trying to change a thing.

It may have been a failed experiment, or at least one that we learned a lot of hard lessons from, but I do think the experiment itself was well worth the effort.

Quotidian Grace said...


Thanks for sharing your experience! All I know is what I heard on the streaming video.

Although I hear you on trying new things, frankly this still would not be something I think is worth trying.

Presbyterian Gal said...

Thanks for this update. Do you find this year to be as contentious as last year?

Purechristianithink said...

An old college buddy of mine was on the YOuth Committee, the other committee piloting the "generative thinking" approach. His reaction is that there are some contexts in which that approach could be very helpful, but the pressure-cooker, time squeezed, folk-who-just-met trying to work together atmosphere of General Assembly isn't it.