Mailing address: PO Box 490, Maysville, KY, 41056.
“It’s General Assembly Time”
by Interim Pastor Jim Dougans
The General Assembly (GA) will meet this month, June 16-23. It is a good time for us to review what the General Assembly is and does.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is governed by representatives and has a graduated system of governing bodies. You are most familiar with the session, which governs this church.
Transylvania Presbytery oversees 72 churches in eastern Kentucky. The Synod of Living Waters oversees 12 presbyteries in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. Finally, the General Assembly oversees 170 presbyteries in the United States. There is a map of all the presbyteries on the bulletin board by the kitchen. The first meeting of the General Assembly was convened in 1789 in Philadelphia. The moderator was Presbyterian minister John Witherspoon, the only active minister to sign the Declaration of Independence. The General Assembly was held almost every year in Philadelphia until 1843. The following year, 1844, the General Assembly was held in Louisville. The General Assembly was held in Lexington in 1857, the closest it has come to Maysville.
GA continues to meet in different cities in the United States. The 2016 General Assembly was held in Portland, OR. This year the General Assembly will be in St. Louis The 2020 General Assembly will be in Baltimore. GA meets biennially in even-numbered years. It consists of commissioners elected by
each of the presbyteries, an equal number of Ministers of Word and Sacrament (MWS), and Elders. The commissioners from Transylvania Presbytery are Wanda Olive, MWS, Sara Benedetti, MWS alternate, Tom Burns, elder Bill Reed, elder alternate, Nathan Dent, youth advisory delegate, Nathan Thacker, youth advisory delegate alternate.
The GA is full of activities: business sessions, committee meetings, an exhibit hall, daily worship services, and mission tours sponsored by the Committee on Local Arrangements. The GA also reviews the work of synods, resolves controversies in the church, is responsible for matters of common concern for the whole church, and serves as a symbol of unity for the church. If you want to see a 2 minute video about the General Assembly visits this website: http://oga.pcusa.org/section/ga/ga/. If you will be in St. Louis during that week of June 16-23 try and attend GA for at least an afternoon. You will find it a rich experience.
The assembly acts on hundreds of items of business, which it receives through the reports and recommendations of various assembly entities, and through overtures from synods and presbyteries. When the 223rd General Assembly convenes on June 16, a chief agenda item for the Committee on Church Polity and Ordered Ministry will be determining how parental leave is paid for and whether parental leave policies should be standardized throughout the denomination. In other business, the Presbytery of the Inland Northwest is requesting that a two-thirds majority vote of presbyteries be required to amend the Book of Order, a change intended to promote more stability and broader consensus in decision making. All the advisory committees recommend that this overture be disapproved.
Other matters before the committee include requests to:
1. Allow congregations to elect individuals as ruling elders without requiring them to assume a seat on the session
2. Prohibit public endorsement of individuals running for elected office
3. Resolve a conflict between the Book of Order and the laws of some states on property that is held in trust for the PC(USA)
4. Refine language in the Book of Order to make consistent references to ministers of the Word and Sacrament, previously referred to as teaching elders
5. Permit a member of the session to moderate a session meeting in emergency situations
6. Clear up confusing language about the composition of nominating committees
We are blessed as Presbyterians to have such a fine system of governance. The meeting of the General Assembly is an auspicious occasion for our church. Watch for news in the national media about GA and for reports that will follow the event. Please pray for all the commissioners.
Bible Study Dates
June 6........……………………………………………………..6:00 p.m.
June 13..……………………………………………...............6:00 p.m.
June 20…………………………………………………………….6:00 p.m.
June 27………………………….………………………………….6:00 p.m.
PW Bible study will resume in September.
Tyler graduated December 2017 magnum cum laude from the University of Kentucky with a degree in accounting. Tyler is furthering his education at UK. Tyler is the son of Jane Wood and John Blakefield.
The “Daily Bible Reading Schedule for One Year” cards are on the back table in the sanctuary.
The Session will meet on Monday, June 25th at 5:30 p.m.
Pickers and Grinners, and Green Dot: Volunteers are needed for Pickers and Grinners, and Green Dot on June 16th. As in previous years, we will be giving out free bottled water and popcorn, thanks to the Crums. We need volunteers to hand out the water and popcorn, collect donations for Living Waters for the World, and tell people about the church. Spots are open between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. You may call
Ellen Cartmell at 606-584-1108 if you wish to help. Thank you!
Living Waters for the World: Your Living Waters for the World mission team is off to Mexico again! The date is the week of June 25th. It costs about $1400, all inclusive. If you are interested in joining the team please contact Joanie Lukins at 859-583-5990. Thanks!
Classic Closet: When cleaning out your closets, consider donating to the Classic Closet. The consignment number for our church is 1731. After receiving a check, we will then send a check to the Women’s Crisis Center. Clothing should be consigned (on hangers) on Tuesday and Thursday. They are now receiving summer clothing. Classic Closet is located at 17 E. 2nd St. Phone number (606) 563-0090.
Over 200 families are served by the Mason County Food Bank each month. Please keep bringing non-perishable food donations each week to our basket in Fellowship Hall. Please also consider a financial contribution to Limestone Ministries, Inc. and/or the Mason County Food Bank, because despite regular food donations from area churches, food still needs to be purchased each month. Mason County Food Bank is the only one available since the Calvary Baptist Food Bank closed. Any non-perishable item will be accepted, but the most needed items are: spaghetti sauce, boxed spaghetti, macaroni & cheese dinners, dried beans, saltine crackers, cornbread mix, peanut butter, oats, cereal, canned soup, canned vegetables, and canned fruit. Cash donations are welcome also! If you write a check, please make it payable to the First Presbyterian Church and put ‘FOOD BANK’ on the memo line.