223rd GENERAL ASSEMBLY Renewing the Vision:
“Kin-dom” Building for the 21st Century

Presbyterians Prepare to Gather in St. Louis
for 223rd General Assembly – June 16–23

Commissioners from all 170 presbyteries along with hundreds of advisory delegates, ecumenical representatives and interested observers from all over the globe will gather inside America’s Convention Center in downtown St. Louis as the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy hosts the 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). One half of the General Assembly (GA) commissioners will be ministers and the other half will be ruling elders. Commissioners from our Presbytery — the Presbytery of the Western Reserve — are Rev. Mark Eldred (Old Stone), Rev. Robin Craig (Independence), Elder Ed Pawlowski (Orwell North), Elder Kathleen Farkas (Covenant) and Youth Advisor Jose Soto (Heritage).

A General Assembly is the highest governing council within the denomination. A new GA convenes every two years. A General Assembly reviews the work of synods and presbyteries, mission agencies and their mission co-workers, and Presbyterian-affiliated educational institutions; seeks to resolve controversies; considers amendments to the church’s constitution; and serves as a symbol of unity for the entire denomination. The proceedings are now live streamed on the GA website, www.ga-pcusa.org.

The overarching theme for the 223rd GA is reclaiming the Bible’s “Good News” call for social, racial, and economic justice for all people. There are currently three groups doing large-scale re-visioning for the church, all aimed at getting a new and more relevant footing in a changing culture so that Presbyterians can more effectively proclaim the grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ and serve the world that God created and continues to love and redeem.

The first order of business will be the election of a new Moderator and Vice Moderator who will oversee the meetings and represent the church for two years. The current Stated Clerk, the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, has been an inspiring figure as the church begins to re-energize and find its voice following decades of controversies and theological divisions that resulted in the departure of 303 congregations to other Reformed denominations.

Watch the Sunday bulletin and July/August Open Door newsletter for more news and information about the 223rd GA.

 Youth Mission Fundraiser

The youth group will host a brunch fundraiser after worship on Sunday, June 3. The proceeds of all donations will go toward funding their mission trip to Ronceverte, West Virginia. They will be giving up a week of their time to serve those in need in Greenbrier County. Every summer, Ronceverte Presbyterian Church hosts work camps from across the United States. The group will be making home repairs large and small — cleaning, painting, guttering, etc. They will also work on more relational projects such as picking and donating produce, volunteering at the animal shelter and participating in children’s literacy programs. This trip will give the youth a unique opportunity to serve others, form new relationships, and deepen their faith. Inquiries can be made to Aliyah Kennedy. Donations or sponsorships can be given at any time with a note designating that it go to the Youth Group Mission Trip. Please join them for brunch and support their work in the mission field!

 Parents Night Out

Faith Formation is holding a Parents Night Out fundraiser on Saturday, June 9 from 4–8 p.m. Let them watch your kids for the evening while you see a movie, do some shopping, or just take a well-deserved nap. The youth (assisted by Kim and Aliyah) will babysit infants–5th grade to help raise money for their summer mission trip. Pizza and entertainment provided. Cost is $25 per family for any portion of the 4–8 p.m. time frame. Please RSVP!