Sunday, June 22, 2008

Call To Order

From Stated Clerk Rev. Diane Prevary--Entry #3 to GA Blog:

A somewhat battered Joan Gray called the 218th General Assembly to order at 10:00 am today (Saturday). She told the body that her bruised face was the result of a tumble down a flight of stairs earlier this past week -- which, thankfully, resulted in no more serious injuries.

The first day of the Assembly is spent hearing reports of work completed since the last Assembly; in orienting the commissioners to the voting procedures and equipment; and in general familiarity with the way the Assembly will work together over the next week.

The San Jose Convention Center bustles with activity. Thousands of volunteers are on-hand to assist commissioners and visitors in a multitude of ways. There is an eclectic array of booths and displays in the Exhibit Hall. There are very thirsty people -- due to the unusually hot temps -- and there is free water, as well as water for $4.00 a bottle! There are tortuous stone stairs (for one with a cane), and there are escalators (which do not run most of the time). Blessedly, there are also elevators.

Time now for a recess; I'll return after the election of the Moderator.

9:30 pm, June 21, 2007:
Elected on the second ballot as Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. was The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow. An ordained minister since 1995, he is a 38 year old native Californian and founding pastor of Mission Bay Community Church, an NCD of San Francisco Presbytery. He is married to Elder Robin Pugh and they have three daughters, Evelyn (11), Abigail (7) and Analise (4).

In his words: "I am the grandson of Filipino and Chinese immigrants and my home church is Trinity Presbyterian Church, Stockton, CA. Through my family and my church I was taught the importance of tradition and heritage, service and social justice and shown the imperative to live one's life with a deep sense of gratitude for the reconciling nature of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ."

We will be getting to know our new Moderator as the week progresses. For now, may we pray God's blessing upon him in this service to our church.

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