Thursday, June 26, 2008

General Assembly reflections part 9

The 218th General Asssembly (2008) reflections part 9

The Assembly approved a resolution to study the Belhar Confession, and consider whether or not this Confession should be added to our Book of Confessions. The text and a study guide are available at this websites (or search on Belhar at

General Assembly reflections part 8

The 218th General Assembly (2008) reflections part 8

The Presbytery of Carlisle team:

I lift up grateful appreciation for the Commissioners from the Presbytery of Carlisle serving the 218th General Assembly.

Rev. John Green, pastor of our Paxton Church, serving on the Board of Pensions, Presbyterian Foundation and Presbyterian Publishing Corporation Committee.

Elder Margaret Mielke, clerk of session of our Pine Street Church, serving on the Review of the General Assembly Permanent Committees

Rev. John Barlow, pastor of our Warfordsburg Church, serving on the Worship and Spiritual Renewal Committee.

Elder Bud Marshall, from our Greencastle Church, serving on the Youth Committee.

Youth Advisory Delegate, Sarah Flint, from our Camp Hill Church, serving on our General Assembly Procedures Committee.

General Assembly reflections part 7

The 218th General Assembly (2008) reflections part 7

San Jose, California: Being an ethnic minority today.

This year the General Assembly is meeting in San Jose, California. I never visited this beautiful, northern California city before. I have enjoyed spending some time running each morning and using the break times during the day to walk around downtown San Jose. The convention center where our General Assembly meets is only a short walk from San Jose State University. The vicinity around the convention center and university community in downtown San Jose is a gorgeous area, highly developed but with beautiful green space and parks. I especially love the huge, majestic palm trees which are very common here and do not grow in Pennsylvania.

For lunch today, a gorgeous, sunny day in San Jose, I found a light sandwich and sat at a sidewalk table outside the restaurant. As I watched the lunchtime rush of people up and down the sidewalk, a fascinating thought entered my mind. As a white, middle-aged, male in San Jose I was an “ethnic minority”. A rich and fascinating rainbow of different kinds of people walked up and down the sidewalk past me. Only a few of them looked like me. Although I do not experience this kind of diversity on the sidewalk in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania or anyplace in the Presbytery of Carlisle, I know it is coming. What does it mean to be an “ethnic minority”? What does it feel like? The increasing ethnic diversity in our nation is a wonderful thing, in my opinion. America is a land with all kinds of difference and diversity. Whether we like it or not, whether we encourage it or not, our church is quickly becoming an ethnically diverse community as well. Although white people like me are still a vast majority group in our Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), we will soon be an ethnic minority in our nation? How do you feel about that fact? How should the Church respond?