Thursday, July 5, 2012

GA Divided on Middle East Peace Strategy

The question: how to seek peace in Israel and Palestine? Support long standing commitment to Israel and stand with Palestinian Christians who ask for our support by divesting in companies which profit from their opression! The GA voted 333/331/2 abstentions for the committee's minority repor's substitute motion to invest in peaceful initiatives instead of divesting and was later passed by a slightly larger margin. The majority report also called for investment. As there are other overtures concerning divestment which were to be answered by this overture, it is likely that the Assembly will take this up again in the morning.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Monday the GA committees went to work.  Here, George Hunsberger moderates the Theological Issues and Institutions, CE committee as Brian Blunt, president of Union Presbyterian Seminary present John Trotti for a life time achievement award.
On Sunday, we worshiped at local churches in Pittsburgh in the morning.  In the afternoon, in plenary, commissioners elected Gradye Parsons to a second term as Stated Clerk.  He ran unopposed, and without one question from the floor, was elected by a unanimous voice vote, all firsts in recent memory, and amazing, given the state of the church.  The GAMC gave a report, and many international guest delegates brought greetings.  Then the committees met Sunday evening to get oriented for their work and do some team building. 

Monday began with worship and a keynote by Brian McLaren.  Then they launched into their work, hearing overture advocates, from resource persons from the Constitutional Services, and those who signed up to speak for or against overtures.  They adjourned last night carrying the pain of the church and the world on their hearts.

I interviewed a couple more ministers for open positions in Lake Michigan Presbytery;  joined my Middle Council leader colleagues in further conversations with Brian McLaren; then floated among the committees observing.  I ended the day processing the day with Jim Hegedus. 

We begin Tuesday with worship!