Category Archives: PCI

General Assembly Season 2014


As the First of May rolls around we mark the start of the 2014 General Assembly Season.

Are you ready for an interesting year of Assemblies?

Here is this year’s line-up as I know it now. I will update as I clarify additional Assembly meetings.

  59th General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in Taiwan

  22-25 April 2014
Tainan

  General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Tasmania
  13 May 2014 (begins)

  General Assembly
Church of Scotland

17-23 May 2014
Edinburgh

  General Assembly
Free Church of Scotland Continuing
19-22 May, 2014
Edinburgh

  General Assembly
Free Church of Scotland
19-23 May 2014
Edinburgh

  General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of South Australia
26 May 2014 (begins)
North Adelaide, S.A.

  140th General Assembly

Presbyterian Church in Canada
30 May – 2 June 2014
Wilfrid Laurier University
Waterloo, Ontario

  General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in Ireland
 
2-6 June 2014
Belfast

General Assembly
United Free Church of Scotland
  4-6 June 2014
Perth

81st General Assembly

Orthodox Presbyterian Church
4-10 June 2014
Kuyper College
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Synod
Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland
9-11 June 2014
Dervock

210th Stated Meeting of the General Synod

Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church

10-12 June 2014
Bonclarken
Flat Rock, North Carolina

221st General Assembly (2014)

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
14-21 June 2014
Detroit, Michigan
(note this is a biennial Assembly)

139th General Assembly
Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America

15-18 June 2014
Chattanooga, Tennessee

184th General Assembly
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
16-20 June 2014
Chattanooga, Tennessee

42nd General Assembly

Presbyterian Church in America
17-20 June 2014
Houston, Texas

34th General Assembly

Evangelical Presbyterian Church
17-21 June 2014
Knoxville, Tennessee

  General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Queensland

  30 June – 3 July 2014
Clayfield (Brisbane), QLD

  N.S.W. State Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Australia
in the State of New South Wales

 
30 June 2014 (begins)
Croydon, N.S.W.

  78th General Synod
Bible Presbyterian Church
31 July – 5 August 2014
Olympia, Washington

  National Youth Assembly

Church of Scotland

15-18 August 2014
Stirlingshire
(Technically not a governing
body, but still an Assembly I track)

  14th General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Ghana

15-21 August 2014
Abetifi Kwahu

  General Synod
ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians
18 August 2014
Dallas, Texas

  6th General Assembly
Evangelical Presbyterian Church — Ghana
August 2014
Ho

  General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand

  3-7 October 2014
Saint Kentigern College
Auckland

  General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Victoria
  6 October 2014

  General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in Western Australia
  24 October 2014

These are the ones that I am tracking at the moment.  I will update as
appropriate.  If I have missed one, or have information wrong or incomplete, please provide the appropriate information and I will update the list.

And, to make the GA season complete here are two more items…

The first is the series of articles I wrote as an introduction to Presbyterian General Assemblies six years ago.  My GA 101 series consists of the following

GA101: Preface
GA101: Introduction – Why in the world would anybody want to do it this way?
GA101: Connectionalism – The Presbyterian Big Picture
GA101: The Cast of Characters – A score card to identify the players
GA101: The Moderator – All Things In Moderation
GA101: Where does the GA business come from? – Incoming!
GA101: Doing the business of GA — Decently and in Order

Yes, what started as a six part series expanded into seven
completed articles with two more unfinished ones in the queue.  (Maybe
this will give me some motivation to finish those up.)

And finally, on to the ridiculous.  Lest we take ourselves too seriously, a couple years ago I had a little fun with the General Assembly and in the post passed along the GA drinking game and GA Bingo. Please play both responsibly.

So, for all the GA Junkies out there I wish you the best of GA
seasons.  May you enjoy the next few months of watching us do things
decently and in order!

Top 10 Presbyterian News Stories Of 2012

Well, I did this for the first time last year and thought I would continue again this New Years. So here, in no particular order, are my top ten Presbyterian news stories of the past year.

1. Korean Presbyterians celebrate their centennial General Assembly
With their first GA in 1912 this year Korean Presbyterians celebrated their centennial Assembly in September with guests from around the world including the Church of Scotland and the PC(USA). More from the World Communion of Reformed Churches.

Speaking of the WCRC…

2. World Communion of Reformed Churches to move headquarters
Finding the cost of operating in Germany to be cheaper than in Switzerland in November the WCRC executive committee issued a press release announcing the move from  Geneva to Hanover.

3. Departures from the Church of Scotland
While a few pastors and a couple of congregations began leaving last spring the news climaxed in December with the congregation of St. Georges Tron in Glasgow giving up their fight to keep their property and vacating the building.

And while we are on the topic of Scotland…

4. Presbyterian Opposition to Same-gender Marriage in Scotland
While the Church of Scotland has set a trajectory for ordination and marriage for same-gender partnered individuals, that policy change has not yet been made so the Church of Scotland and the Free Church of Scotland have expressed their opposition to the Scottish Government’s plan to introduce same-gender marriage. In addition, while the discussions in Northern Ireland are not as advanced, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland expressed their concern for government suggestions about introducing same-gender marriage in Norther Ireland.

Continuing the news about marriage…

5. Presbyterians Reaffirm Support for Marriage Between a Man and a Woman in New Zealand
Among the many actions at the October General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand was a resolution that “upheld the historic Christian understanding of marriage as the loving, faithful union of a man and a woman.” There was also an approval of presbytery status for the Pacific Island churches giving them the corresponding autonomy and authority.

In another General Assembly…

6. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Sticks With The Status Quo
Presented with a number of major decisions the 220th GA of the PC(USA) chose to not divest from companies supporting Israeli occupation, to further consider restructuring synods, to propose no changes to the Book of Order related to marriage and preserve the special offerings in their current form.

7. The General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission of the PC(USA) Decides Several Closely Watched Cases
Among the decisions handed down were a guilty verdict for conducting a same-gender marriage, a not-guilty verdict for participating in a same-gender wedding, a final case clearing the way for ordination of a same-gender partnered candidate, a clarification and restriction related to the trust clause and dismissal of congregations and a decision invalidating a presbytery’s statement of behavioral standards for ordained officers.

8. Presbyterian Church In Ireland Statements On Violent Attacks
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland, in statements by the Moderator of the General Assembly, Dr. Roy Patton, expressed their concern following the killing of a prison guard in November and the December attempted murder of a police officer.

9. New Reformed Body
At a Covenanting Conference last January in Orlando, Florida, the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (later renamed the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians) was formed. Over the year a number of churches have been dismissed to the Order, although a November Synod PJC decision has raised questions as to whether it is a Reformed body that churches can be dismissed to.

10. Presbyterians and the Elections in Ghana
Throughout the year there were statements and activity by both the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana leading up to the elections in the fall. After a series of exchanges the government did offer an apology for a misunderstanding. The church’s involvement was not always viewed favorably.

A couple of other noteworthy news items this past year that caught my attention:

The religious violence in Nigeria which has touched all the Christians including the Presbyterians.

The Affordable Care Act in the US was endorsed by the PC(USA) Office of the General Assembly but which has some Presbyterians, including PC(USA) affiliated College of the Ozarks and branches like the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, endorsing broad religious exemptions.

A PC(USA) and EPC ruling elder and Provost of Whitworth University, Michael K. Le Roy Ph.D., was named the President of the Christian Reformed Church of North America’s Calvin College.

So there you have my list — as always your mileage may vary.

And so, as we begin 2013 I wish all of you the best for the new year and that your lives may be decent and in order, but that you also have the appropriate balance of ardor and order.

Happy New Year!

General Assembly Season 2012

GA Junkies ready? It is the start of General Assembly Season 2012!  Get your coffee ready, alarm clocks set and your internet streaming tuned up. Here is what I am looking forward to… (based on best available information – I will update as I get full details)

General Assembly
Free Church of Scotland (Continuing)
May 2012
EdinburghGeneral Assembly
Church of Scotland
19-25 May 2012
Edinburgh

General Assembly
Free Church of Scotland
21-25 May 2012*
Edinburgh

General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in Ireland
28-31 May 2012
Belfast

138th General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in Canada
3-7 June 2012
Oshawa, Ontario

138th General Assembly
Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America
4-7 June 2012
Huntsville, Alabama

208th Stated Meeting of the General Synod
Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
5-7 June 2012
Flat Rock, North Carolina

General Assembly
United Free Church of Scotland
6-8 June 2012
Perth

79th General Assembly
Orthodox Presbyterian Church
6-12 June 2012
Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois

182nd General Assembly
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
17-22 June 2012
Florence, Alabama

40th General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in America
19-22 June 2012
Louisville, Kentucky

181st General Synod
Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America
(researching – will update)

32nd General Assembly
Evangelical Presbyterian Church
20-23 June 2012
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

220th General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
30 June – 7 July 2012
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

76th General Synod
Bible Presbyterian Church
9-14 August 2012
Lakeland, Florida

General Assembly 2012
Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand
4-7 October 2012
Rotorua

These are the ones that I am tracking at the moment.  I will update as
appropriate. [* These entries have been updated since the original post.]  If I have missed one, or have information wrong or incomplete, please provide the appropriate information and I will update the list.

And, to make the GA season complete here are two more items…

The first is the series of articles I wrote as an introduction to Presbyterian General Assemblies four years ago.  My GA 101 series consists of the following

GA101: Preface
GA101: Introduction – Why in the world would anybody want to do it this way?
GA101: Connectionalism – The Presbyterian Big Picture
GA101: The Cast of Characters – A score card to identify the players
GA101: The Moderator – All Things In Moderation
GA101: Where does the GA business come from? – Incoming!
GA101: Doing the business of GA — Decently and in Order

Yes, what started as a six part series expanded into seven
completed articles with two more unfinished ones in the queue.  (Maybe
this will give me some motivation to finish those up.)

And finally, on to the ridiculous.  Lest we take ourselves too seriously, a couple years ago I had a little fun with the General Assembly and in the post passed along the GA drinking game and GA Bingo. Please play both responsibly.

So, for all the GA Junkies out there I wish you the best of GA
seasons.  May you enjoy the next three months of watching us do things
decently and in order!

Haven’t I Seen That Somewhere Before?

leaf_logos

Last month when the Fellowship of Presbyterians was rolling out the new Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians they debuted and explained the new logo and the preferred acronym (that would be ECO not ECOPs).

At the time someone tweeted or blogged that the logo reminded him or her of X – and I have been looking back and trying to figure out who I saw say that both to give them credit as well as to be sure what X is. My failing memory tells me that they suggested the logo for Presbyterians for Earth Care shown above.

Well, after they mentioned that I started seeing similarities to other logos.  I have included two examples above, one from the Friends of Calvin Crest and the other for a non-denominational church in our area.

Now to be clear, the Calvin Crest logo is not a deciduous leaf but a pine needle cluster or maybe a pine cone. But the look and feel is sure similar.

The presbygeeks out there know that this variation on a plant theme is nothing new for Presbyterians…

burning_bush_logos

 

Yes, each of these global Presbyterian seals rocks the burning bush theme adopted by Presbyterians long ago.  (Clockwise from upper left – old Church of Scotland seal, current Church of Scotland logo, Free Church of Scotland, United Free Church of Scotland, old Presbyterian Church in Ireland, current Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, Malaysian Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in Canada, and Presbyterian Church of Taiwan)

[Note: Please see the comment by Alec below with a correction and some fascinating history of the symbols.]

So what got American Presbyterians sidetracked?  There are a couple of exceptions

other logos

 

 

 

… and that BPC logo does have the burning bush. But for the most part American Presbyterians, and a couple more I threw in, tend to use the cross as their dominant theme.

cross logos
(Tempting to leave this as an identification challenge but here are the logos: Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Presbyterian Church, old United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Presbyterian Church of Australia, and the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa.) You can spot the burning bush or flame symbolism there in some of these, but the central motif has become the cross.

Where logo design goes from here will be interesting to see.  If early American Presbyterians had a logo they did not use it much. I don’t know if it was simply because they did not feel a need to have a brand identity or maybe it was not worth the extra cost to print it on their documents, or maybe they though it came too close to violating the Second Commandment. Maybe some research on that sometime.

But these days it seems necessary to have a logo for brand identity, and if it is simple and can be reduced to a small size for your online avatar all the better. ECO clearly thought that having a unique (sort-of) logo was a worth while endeavor to put early effort into.

We will see where it takes them.

General Assembly Season 2011

We are entering the 2011 General Assembly Season.  GA Junkies get ready!

For those who may be interested in the upcoming gatherings here are the meetings of governing bodies that I have on my calendar and will be trying to track: (Information marked with * is updated from the original posting)

51st General Synod
Presbyterian Church in Trinidad and Tobago
27 April 2011
San Fernando

General Assembly
Free Church of Scotland
23-27 May 2011*
Edinburgh

General Assembly
Free Church of Scotland (Continuing)
23 May 2011*
Edinburgh

General Assembly
Church of Scotland
21-27 May 2011
Edinburgh

General Assembly
United Free Church of Scotland
1-3 June 2011
Perth

137th General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in Canada
5-10 June 2011
London, Ontario

137th General Assembly
Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America
6-8 June 2011
Dallas, Texas

General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in Ireland
6-9 June 2011
Belfast

207th Stated Meeting of the General Synod
Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
7-9 June 2011
Flat Rock, North Carolina

39th General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in America
7-10 June 2011
Virginia Beach, Virginia

78th General Assembly
Orthodox Presbyterian Church
8-14 June 2011
Sandy Cove Conference Center, Maryland

181st General Assembly
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
20-24 June 2011
Springfield, Missouri

180th General Synod
Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America
20 June – 1 July, 2011
Indiana Wesleyan University

31st General Assembly
Evangelical Presbyterian Church
22-25 June 2011
Cordova, Tennessee

75th General Synod
Bible Presbyterian Church
August

These are the ones that I am tracking at the moment.  I will update as appropriate.  Remember, that not all the Presbyterian branches have Assemblies or Synods this year — This includes the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, Presbyterian Church of Australia, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  If I have missed one, or have information wrong, please provide the appropriate information and I will update the list.

To go along with GA season, I have two more items…

The first is the series of articles I wrote as an introduction to Presbyterian General Assemblies three years ago.  My GA 101 series consists of the following

GA101: Preface
GA101: Introduction – Why in the world would anybody want to do it this way?
GA101: Connectionalism – The Presbyterian Big Picture
GA101: The Cast of Characters – A score card to identify the players
GA101: The Moderator – All Things In Moderation
GA101: Where does the GA business come from? – Incoming!
GA101: Doing the business of GA — Decently and in Order

Yes, what started as a six part series expanded into seven completed articles with two more unfinished ones in the queue.  (Maybe this will give me some motivation to finish those up.)

And finally, on to the ridiculous.  Lest we take ourselves too seriously, last year I had a little fun with the General Assembly and in the post passed along the GA drinking game and GA Bingo. Please play both responsibly.

So, for all the GA Junkies out there I wish you the best of GA seasons.  May you enjoy the next three months of watching us do things decently and in order!

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland Takes The Church and Technology to the Next Level

Thanks to Alan in Belfast, who is one of the organizers of this, now youth can attend a church summer camping experience on technology now in its fourth year.  Yes, for youth ages 13 to 16 who would rather twitter than sing around a campfire there is a dorm-hosted Presbyterian Church in Ireland summer experience where they can learn to use technology and visit some great technological sites.  You can check out Alan’s description or the official web site.  And the “powers that be” would not let it be called “Geek Camp.”