Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Looking ahead to the 221st General Assembly of the PC(USA)

galogoBy Steve Salyards

Tomorrow (Dec. 14) we will reach the six-month point ahead of the meeting of the 221st General Assembly (2014) of the the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). As we look ahead to the meeting of that Assembly a number of things are already in place but so much more is to come.

The GA will meet from June 14-21, 2014, in Detroit, Michigan, and while the city has had some highly publicized problems all concerned with the Assembly are assuring us that the issues will not affect the Assembly. The Office of the General Assembly (OGA) issued a statement of support following the city’s bankruptcy filing and the Committee on the General Assembly (COGA) visited the site this fall and was satisfied with the preparations and location. Regarding the situation with the city, the Rev. Tom Hay, OGA’s associate for assembly operations, made the following analogy in the article:

Detroit has much to teach the church, Hay said. The city is an institution that trusted in old patterns after they stopped working.

“In many ways, that’s something like us,” he said.In addition, in a bit of a test run, the Fall Polity Conference was held in Detroit in October. However, that was a much smaller gathering and so was held in a hotel and not in the conference center.

The Committee on Local Arrangements (COLA) is up and running and has a web page on the Presbytery of Detroit site, a Facebook page and a Twitter feed (@DetroitCOLA). They have a 23 minute video, Abound in Hope, that introduces the church to Detroit and the PC(USA) ministries and history of the area.

“Abound in Hope” is the theme of the Assembly and will be reflected in the worship. One of the more interesting and significant changes this year is that the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper will be a part of each daily worship service.



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  1. Detroit has become one of the most dangerous cities on earth. Yet with all the drug-related gang activity in the streets and the pandemic political corruption, the former automotive Mecca cannot equate to the rancidity that has taken root in the Presbyterian Church USA. At least the gang bangers are more honest about what they represent. That is to say, they have never endeavored to make a mockery of the faith by proclaiming what they do is in the cause or service of Christ. I am far more disheartened about what’s happened to Detroit and other cities across the nation, as a result of a manufacturing base it’s been eviscerated, than I ever would be over a denomination that has brazenly embraced apostasy!

  2. Don says:

    So “Abound in Hope” is the theme of the Detroit GA. Well, the commissioners can abound in Hope to their hearts’ content. They can print the word on banners and in programs, use it in greetings and discussions and prayers. But the actions they will take at the assembly will likely lead to many tens of thousands — perhaps hundreds of thousands — of PCUSA members leaving over the next few years. Surely that is not what they’re hoping for, is it?

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