Friday, July 15, 2016

Summary of PEC's presence at 2016 General Assembly

Peace and grace to you!

Many thanks to Abby Mohaupt for the invitation to write about the "wins" of General Assembly (GA)!

What a great framework that is… as it reminds me of all the positives about this biennial gathering of fellow Presbyterians!  Many of us are still holding the energy of people and experience of the assembly with us!

Members of FFPCUSA at the booth in the exhibit hall
Those of us who have been planning PEC's presence at GA were thrilled to visit with the many people who came by the exhibit hall and shared their passion about creation care. We greatly enjoyed sharing our booth space with Fossil Free PC USA! What a blessing to be able to feel and share their love "for creation!”

Abby Mohaupt with Rev. Dr. Patricia Tull,
one of the winners of our annual awards.
The PEC luncheon and Awards Presentation was a huge success! We planned for 100 and 100 attended! It was a gift to share an exquisite meal with beloved friends. We are so grateful for Rebecca Barnes and Gary Payton, who shared with us "Beyond Paris"… the work of the Paris climate talks and how the world needs to respond in this crucial time.

Of course there were numerous overtures which we had helped shepherd  through a long  process, all of which passed in some form or version or another, although we share disappointment that the goals of divestment overture were changed in plenary.

Yet overall, GA was a delight. What a grand opportunity for Presbyterians to share passion about our work in the world! It is a blessing to be able to see friends, acquaintances and meet with PCUSA staff! Many thanks to GA staff who served to resource committees including our friends Ruth Farrell (Presbyterian Hunger Program), Rebecca Barnes (Environmental Ministries) and Nora Leccese (Office of Public Witness). The staff and many volunteers on the Committee on Local Arrangements worked very hard to set up this gathering and it is definitely noticed!

There were so many opportunities for gathering together seeking justice. We appreciated the chance to meet with Voices 4 Justice and for other gatherings such as the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship breakfast! I am so grateful for the work of Rick Ufford-Chase and others who have assembled a book Faithful  Resistance: Gospel Visons for the Church in a Time of Empire" Quoting from the back cover "14 contributing authors ...offer their ideas for ways to move the Christian church to a place of faithfulness in the midst of the empire. Rick adds his own observations about the compromised condition of our church institutions with concrete suggestions for bringing us home to the heart of the gospel." (I bought 8 copies to share!)

Certainly the Holy Spirit was among us as the body elected two exceptional women as co-moderators, Revs. Denise Anderson and Jan Edminston, as well as electing the Reverend J. Herbert Nelson as Stated Clerk of the PCUSA. His passion for both environmental and social justice has been prophetic  for Presbyterians for Earth Care as well as others and this denomination

Let us continue to work together, in faithful presence/resistance as we move forward as a body of Christ toward making this denomination one of major prophetic leadership as we seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God!

With gratitude,
Diane Waddell, Moderator of PEC

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