PMAB and COGA to Meet in San Juan This Week


(By Leslie Scanlon, The Presbyterian Outlook). Both the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board and the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly are meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico this week – accepting an invitation from the Presbytery of San Juan.

Over the past year, Presbyterian leadership has been highlighting justice concerns in Puerto Rico – with J. Herbert Nelson, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA), along with Tony De La Rosa, interim executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, and Denise Anderson and Jan Edmiston, co-moderators of the 2016 General Assembly, sending a letter to President Donald Trump and congressional leaders in February regarding the Puerto Rican economic crisis.

That was done in response to an action of the 2016 General Assembly. The letter states in part:

“Puerto Rico’s unsustainable debt, which is more than two-thirds the amount of its GDP, cannot possibly be repaid simply by using spending cuts and tax increases, since those measures will inevitably accelerate the exodus of capital and labor and shrink the economy further. More importantly, this would result in even greater distress on people who are already in dire straits—more than half of the children now live below the poverty line and many families and individuals already struggle to survive.”

The two meetings in San Juan will overlap a bit – with one joint plenary session to discuss the “way forward” and a shared worship service – but for the most part the two groups have separate agendas.

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  1. REPLY
    peter gregory says

    The Way Forward commission, Vision 20/20, the all agency review. So what’s the rush and crises for the PCUSA? The entity has been in systemic decline and depopulation for over 50 years, in Schism since at last 2010. So why are all running around flying to and fro with their hair on fire? My supposition is that the crises is more a cash flow issue than anything to do with strategic planning or structural reform. Simply because the institution neither feels the need or desire to reform. And why should it?

    The reality is that the PCUSA in a post-denominational world is not a religious denomination in a functional sense. The contemporary PCUSA can best be described as a rather lose connection of center-left to left domestic policy NGOs and with their own goals and agendas. The only glue which keeps them in communion is a common quest for power, authority and who or whom gets the bigger slice of the shrinking pie. Hence the urgency or crises. At the end of the day who or whom is in solidarity with the people of San Juan is of little consequence. Its cold in the North East and its warm where they are. End of story.

    And this is the PCUSA. People fly around, just to remind to other people in their own ideological echo chamber who they are and they are still important. And in that sense, mission accomplished at this event.

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