A Little Fun With The General Assembly

While the whole idea of using “fun” and “General Assembly” in the same sentence is probably foreign to many Presbyterians, we have a whole genre of humor that revolves around the gatherings of our governing bodies and poking fun at our fascination with parliamentary procedure.

As evidence of that the representative of a group of Presbyterians who are not afraid to have some fun at the expense of our polity recently sent me a drinking game they came up with during one of the Assembly meetings this Spring.  With their permission I will share that in a minute, but it got me thinking about this.  Considering that a game of this nature would probably not work in the observer galleries of our Assemblies and that the near-by hotel lounges are not likely to live stream the meeting I have borrowed from their idea with the inspiration of a cartoon which has become a classic in academic circles.  Just in time for the resumption of plenary sessions at the PC(USA) Assembly, I bring you

General Assembly Bingo

So here is a bingo card for you to play along with your favorite meeting of the highest governing body of a Presbyterian branch.  I have tried to make it as generic as possible so it can be used at all the different meetings.

(I have also made a downloadable PDF copy.)

So let me know of other things that might be included or if any of these are too rare an occurrence to be worthy of the bingo card.

Now, as I said at the onset, this was inspired by a drinking game that others proposed.  These drinking games are their own genre as well — for example there is a Star Trek game.

But for General Assemblies, here are their suggested rules:

  • Point of Order — 1 drink
  • Moderator takes a drink — 1 drink
  • Moderator reminds someone to identify themselves at the microphone — 1 drink
  • Moderator makes a joke — 1 drink
  • One of the “polity police” rises to speak — 1 shot of stronger stuff
  • Call for Division — stand on one foot and drink
  • A substitute motion is offered — switch to a different drink
  • Substitute motion is defeated — switch back
  • Somebody from the back complains that they can’t hear or haven’t gotten the distributions yet — buy a round for everyone else
  • Reminder of being inside the voting area — trade drinks with your neighbor
  • Move to recess — bathroom break

Of course, this is presented for entertainment purposes only and I must emphasize the responsible consumption of whatever beverage.  As for me, after a enough drinks of coffee and a couple shots of espresso I’ll probably have a hard time standing on one foot to down the next cup of java during a division of the house.  However, the switch to decaf during the substitute motion will help.  🙂

But however you do it enjoy a bit of irreverence and ardor with your order.  Force yourself to not take the parliamentary procedure too seriously.

We now return to our regular being decent and in order.

6 thoughts on “A Little Fun With The General Assembly

  1. Dan Williams

    Here are some specifics for Minneapolis re: your drinking game:
    1. A minority report is presented (variation of substitute motion)
    2. Commissioner complains that PC-Biz is down (paperless intranet system)
    3. Commissioner complains that wireless voting clicker does not seem to be registering his/her vote.
    4. Life-size cut-out of John Calvin appears in the plenary hall
    5. Commissioner spotted playing solitaire on computer/YAAD spotted watching video on computer

  2. Steve Salyards

    Yes, thanks – all great suggestions, and I forgot about that life-size John Calvin floating around.  That deserves a place in these games.

  3. Jedidiah Slaboda

    This would be a lethal game at a PCA GA for the following rule alone:

    Point of Order — 1 drink

  4. Pingback: General Assembly Season 2015 - The GA Junkie

  5. Pingback: General Assembly Season 2016 - The GA Junkie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *