A year ago today, I started my service as your Executive Presbyter. It has been a wonderful year! I am so grateful that you called me and so graciously welcomed me into your churches and hearts. During the week ahead at General Assembly, it is my hope to send you regular updates of what has occurred so that you will be informed.
The first day of General Assembly had orientation, worship and the election of Moderator. Orientation is always slow and there are a few bugs to work out. We learned a lot about Pittsburgh- which is a great city, by the by. Worship was attended by many and it went about the way that most expected. It was, however, a bit surprising that liturgical dancers processed in with rainbow scarves and draped them over the communion table and the cross since the rainbow is now such a loaded image.
The Moderator election had four candidates and the General Assembly elected the Reverend Neal D. Pressa, pastor of Middlesex Presbyterian Church of New Jersey. All of the candidates were articulate and shared their hearts for the future of the Church. After Moderator Pressa was elected, his two sons prayed for him and for the Church. His Vice Moderator candidate, the Reverend Tara Spuhler McCabe, is young, gifted and controversial. She officiated the wedding ceremony of two lesbian women recently. Before the vote was taken to confirm her designation as Vice Moderator, there was a question from the floor about being able to question her since she did not honor our church polity. That request to set aside standing rules to have some more conversation did not pass. The Vice Moderator candidate was confirmed by 60% of the commissioners- which was a higher percentage than the confirmation of the Moderator vote.
We have a great team here and I am encouraged to walk these days with you and them. Please be praying for your commissioners; Elder Charlie Brown from Central and Pastor Bob Mitchell from Lincoln. We also have a big group from Central in Merced. It has been fun to spend time with them and encouraging to share in this uncertain week ahead.
I will post something else soon but know that I am praying for you. For some of you dear ones, the events of the General Assembly have especially great significance. I totally understand that. There are significant decisions to be made in the week ahead. Please pray for God’s mercy and wisdom and pray that God would remind us of all the wonderful things that He is doing in our lives, in the lives of our churches and in the life of our presbytery. God is faithful and persistent with us- no matter how the votes go. God is good. I’ll chat with you in a bit.
In His Grip,