Presbytery de Cristo has three delegates – a Teaching Elder (Rev. Bart Smith of St. Mark’s in Tucson), a Young Adult Advisory Delegate (Michael Tuohy of Immanuel in Tucson), and a Ruling Elder Delegate (me). To prepare for the big event, in March, the delegates from the Synod of the Southwest attended a workshop in Albuquerque where we were told what to expect at the General Assembly and what we needed to do to prepare for it. Basically, we were told we would be expected to be in attendance at the meetings nearly every moment we are there – that attendance is not taken, but someone is watching very closely. We were also told that we would be getting registration information at the beginning of April. Another workshop was held in May, but a death in my family prevented me from attending. I’ve been reading many, many overtures, which are motions for business at the assembly.
The registration process was especially confusing for two reasons: First, I could sign up for tours of many different areas of St. Louis, which really looked interesting until I realized that there was a meeting that I was required to attend going on at the same time. Second, I had to choose which church I was going to attend on the only Sunday I was there, and there were over a hundred to choose from. Knowing nothing about St. Louis, I finally selected a church, but now I have no idea which one it was. I also arranged for my hotel and my travel at the same time. A few days later I was notified that I had been assigned to a committee, as every delegate is, and committees start work two days before the General Assembly.
I ask for your prayers as I attend the most important meeting the PC(USA) holds. I need wisdom to make the best choices for the church, and strength to get through a schedule that leaves me with very little downtime for over a week. When next you hear from me, it will be to report on my experience.