Live Blog 187th General Assembly
12:18 I’m going to go on and wrap up the blog for this year. It was good to have y’all along. Hope it was helpful… If so, and/or if you’ve got any suggestions on how we can improve next year, please leave a comment below. We really do love hearing from you, and the more affirmations we have, the better able we are to justify continuing. Thanks, and see you in Norman, OK, about this time next year!
12:09 Moderator Lancaster calls for reading of the minutes up to this point, so on to the very capable Engrossing Clerk Rev. Vernon Sansom. But first, we had to make sure everyone’s OK with not taking a lunch break before wrapping this thing up… I think I know how this is going to turn out 😉 Yep, we’re sticking around for a bit to let Rev. Sansom read the minutes. This has got to be some kind of record…
12:05 Rev. Susan Parker called to the mic to read a thank-you resolution. Host Pastor Eddie Jenkins thanked for his work. All others (inc. Rev. Jennifer Newell, Rev. Chris Warren) who contributed to the success of this meeting mentioned (she’s reading faster than I can type). Above all, thanking God for the beautiful area here and for God’s presence during our meetings. Motion made and seconded to adopt the Resolution of Thanks. Unanimous ayes all around.
12:04 Back to S/EO. Rev. Tony Janner requests an excuse for one of their members, Marie Dussan, whose husband had to be taken to the hospital. Prayer for Mr. Dussan. Now, YAD Elizabeth Mahoney begins reading the report. Now, YAD Katelyn Bayless. On to YAD Alina Ferraz. Motion made and seconded that the report be concurred in and its recommendations be adopted. YADs are all ayes. Commissioners are all ayes. Report concurred in and adopted as written.
11:50 Vice Moderator Scott invites the Committee on Stewardship/Elected Officers to present their report. But first, proceedings interrupted in order to bring Ms. Faith Parra to the dais to deliver greetings from CPWM, who’ve just wrapped up their meeting.
11:47 Vice Moderator Scott invites Committee on Chaplains/Historical Foundation to present their report. Rev. Theresa Martin rises to introduce the report. YAD Audrey Adams begins reading report. Now YAD Skyler Birch takes over. And now, YAD Mary Cook (somebody must have fixed the mic–I’m catching their names now…). Motion made and seconded that the report be concurred in and adopted. Vote called for. Ayes carry the day.
11:40 Motion made and seconded that the report be adopted. Vote called for. YADs all ayes. Commissioners all ayes. Report concurred in and adopted.
11:34 Now, back to business… Vice Moderator Scott invites the Committee on Missions and Pastoral Development to present their report. Rev. Rickey Page asks that a couple of YADs be excused (granted). Remaining YAD Duncan Shelton now reading the report.
11:33 OK, we’ve been gaveled back to order. Dr. Barry Anderson rises to the mic to announce the winner of the Stole (from the drawing held at the MTS booth in the exhibition hall). Congratulations Rev. Emily Trapp!
11:32 Something there is about Cumberland Presbyterian time… 15 minutes becomes 20, then 25… Hang in there, folks… We’ll get back down to business soon…
11:07 Moderator Lancaster declares a 15-minute break. Whew! Back in a few…
11:05 Vice Moderator Scott notes motion and second that report be adopted. Discussion? No. Vote called for. YADs all ayes. Commissioners all ayes. Report is concurred in and adopted as written.
11:00 Next report is from the Committee on Ministry Council/Communications/Discipleship, and since Moderator Lancaster chaired that Committee, he has turned the gavel over to Vice Moderator Scott. Rev. Lisa Oliver rises to mic to read report.
10:50 Motion made and seconded that the report from CTSC/UTF be concurred in and adopted. Floor opened for discussion. J. C. McDuffy of North Central Presbytery points out need for a slight change in wording–I didn’t catch it but it’s inconsequential. Moderator Cole of CPCA comes to the mic to report that CPCA has adopted an identical report. Diane Phelps rises to mic, asks for clarification on Recommendation 3. Stated Clerk clarifies that the Papers the Recommendation 3 refers to are just for study. Vote called for. YADs all ayes. Assembly all ayes, report concurred in and adopted as written.
10:46 Committee on Theology and Social Concerns/Unification Task Force invited to present their report. Vice Moderator Rev. Lisa Scott rises to mic to read the report. Looking ahead, you’ll see that they’ve recommended denial of Recommendations 4 and 6, to be replaced with Recommendations 5 and 7… Rev. Tommy Clark now reading through the Report of the Unification Task Force.
10:44 Motion to concur has been made and seconded. Duane Dougherty rises to mic. To urge continued support for the Children’s Home (he’s the representative for this Assembly) and in favor of the report and its recommendations. Vote is called for. Ayes carry the day.
10:34 Committee on Children’s Home and Higher Education called to the front to present report. Rev. Thomas Sweet says they won’t re-read items that are already in the Preliminary Minutes and that they haven’t changed. YADs line up to read the parts that will be presented.
10:27 A member of Andes Presbytery rises to address the Assembly, assisted by Rev. John Daza as translator. Andes read through previous GA actions and they’re only asking that this GA continue providing the oversight to which it has previously committed. Now we’re back to the motion to concur in the report and adopt its recommendations. YADs invited to vote first, majority in favor. Vote called for and ayes carry the day. Report adopted as written.
10:25 Rev. Andy Eppert rises to mic to get clarification about what we’re voting on. Rev. Jennifer Newell rises to explain that previous actions of the General Assembly and the Ministry Council make the request of the Memorial redundant. We’re already doing what the Memorial requests us to do.
10:23 Now voting on whether to divide. Must be a 2/3 majority to support dividing. Motion to divide fails.
10:17 Roger Reid (Columbia Presbytery) rises to the mic. Has no problem with the report, but expresses concern that denial could create a rift with the Colombian church, since they are in general a more conservative part of the church; concerned that they will receive this as a dismissal out of hand. Now another Commissioner asks for explanation of “what happened at Triennium” (mentioned in report). Molly Williams rises to explain that there was a person–not a part of program staff–who acknowledged being a homosexual; assures the Assembly that the question was thoroughly addressed in Committee; Diane Phelps rises to mic and asks that the question be divided, her motion seconded. Rev. Thomas Sweet questions whether we need to divide, but Parliamentarian McClung points out that motions to divide can’t be debated.
10:15 Motion made by Molly Williams that the report be adopted.
10:13 YAYAD (Yet Another YAD) whose name I didn’t catch is reading the Memorial from Andes Presbytery Regarding Gender Diversity. Again, all this is in the Committee Reports document: http://www.cumberland.org/gao/assembly/2017_COMMITTEE_REPORTS.pdf
10:08 Committee on Judiciary invited to the mic. YAD (I didn’t catch her name) reading the report. Now YAD Shelby Stover reading Recommendation #2. Now another YAD reading Recommendation #3. (not speaking up enough for me to catch their names at times).
10:04 Report of the Nominating Committee (page 105 of Preliminary Minutes, according to the Stated Clerk) received by acclamation. It’s a Standing Committee, so no one here to present it. Adopted by acclamation.
10:02 Moderator Cole finished reading the Resolution; and the Assembly applauds in appreciation, joy, and gratitude. Moderator Lancaster asks for a motion that we receive the Resolution. “All in favor of receiving the Resolution, say Hallelujah!”, and the response is unanimous.
09:54 Moderator Cole invited back to the dais to present a Resolution of Forgiveness, Unity, and Resolve approved by the CPCA GA this week, in response to a Resolution of similar name that we passed last year. This is on the last couple of pages of the Committee Reports document referenced at 09:10 below…
09:50 Stated Clerk Rev. Michael Sharpe going over a few logistical and procedural details, and rules of engagement before we get into the nitty gritty.
09:47 Elder Leon Cole, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian in America invited to the dais to bring greetings from that organization. They began their meetings on Sunday and wrapped them up yesterday (I think).
09:45 Moderator Lancaster comes back to the dais, requests a moment of privilege for a few remarks about the importance of what we’re doing today and the importance of the Great Commission that has been taken up by both the Wilkersons and the Sims.
09:38 Rev. Dr. Milton Ortiz invited to the mic to present the latest Stott-Wallace Missionary Fund video which shares news about our newest missionaries–the Sims, in Brazil, and the Wilkersons, in Colombia. It’s a great video… If you’d like a free copy for your congregation, contact the Missions Ministry Team (firstname.lastname@example.org). It can also be downloaded from the Ministry Council website (you’re on it now). Following the video, Rev. Lynn Thomas comes to the dais and invites the Wilkersons to the stage. Rev. Wilkerson addresses the crowd, thanking them for the opportunity to serve in Colombia. Asking that churches and individuals continue to support the Stott-Wallace fund. Now a short blessing and charge from Rev. Dr. Ortiz.
09:18 Ms. Jodi Rush, Coordinator of Children and Family Ministries for the Discipleship Ministry Team is now reporting on what the CONNECT children’s group (for children of Commissioners and other attendees) did this week. Their big service project was to give gift bags and cold water to staff of Guest Services, the grounds crew, maintenance folks, and others who work behind the scenes here at Innisbrook Resort. CONNECT is a great program. It not only provides the children meaningful and educational things to do during Assembly week, it also sponsors a children’s area for worship each night so that they can be where they ought to be–with their church.
09:14 Rev. Susan Parker invited to the mic to bring greetings from the Haiti developing congregations.
09:12 Rev. Andy McClung has been introduced as Parliamentarian. Now fixing to hear about some minor changes to the schedule.
09:10 Moderator Rev. David Lancaster has gaveled the meeting to order. If you’d like to follow along, Committee Reports can be found at: http://www.cumberland.org/gao/assembly/2017_COMMITTEE_REPORTS.pdf
09:04 Remember… we’re trying a new feature this year, auto-refresh. What this means–if it works the way we hope–is that your browser page will automatically refresh every five minutes or so, so you don’t have to keep doing it yourself. Of course, you can still refresh as often as you wish, but five minutes seemed about right for the live blog.
09:00 OK… The devotion for the morning was a bit shorter than I think anyone expected, so it looks like we may get started a little earlier than the published time of 9:30… Stay tuned…
06:30 Well, here we are, back again on Thursday, 22 June, with the live blog of the second and main business session of the 187th General Assembly. It’s about 6:30 this morning here in Tampa, and for the first time in three or four days (it seems), the sun is out. If it’s as hot as it was the last time it was out, it’s a good thing we’ll be inside for the day! Anyway, I’m just getting my keyboard warmed up here, so go make yourself a pot of coffee, some eggs, bacon and toast, and join us at around 9:30ET–or for a lot of you folks in del Cristo, 6:30PT…
Monday, 19 June 2017
09:30 This session has been adjourned. Committees now go to their meeting places and the real business begins. See y’all again next Thursday!
09:20 No memorials brought to the floor. Corrections to Preliminary Minutes have already been distributed, as have Referrals. Representatives from Boards and Agencies are being introduced.
09:14 After some comments from the new Moderator, Rev. Lisa Scott, North Central Presbytery, has been elected Vice Moderator of the 187th General Assembly
09:08 Rev. David Lancaster, Professor of Religion at Bethel University and member of West Tennessee Presbytery, has been nominated from the floor. Rev. Lancaster has been elected Moderator of the 187th General Assembly.
09:06 Time for election of the Moderator…
09:03 After a few words from Palm Harbor’s “Honorary Mayor”, we’re underway. We’ve adopted the agenda, and now hearing from the Credentials Committee.
08:53 Pastor Host Rev. Eddie Jenkins at the dais welcoming the crowd to sunny Florida.
08:50 Rev. Newell providing the charge and blessing. Morning devotional is over. Taking a couple of minutes now to shuffle and organize, and then business will begin…
08:34 Moderator Dwayne Tyus rises to the dais. “Silence all phones, please.” Wish that went without saying, but… Anyway, a few little instructions to Commissioners, and now Assembly Worship leader Rev. Jennifer Newell calls us to worship.
08:28 Well, folks are gathering–but we’re obviously not going to get started right at 08:30… Lot’s of familiar faces, and a few new ones. We’ll start with a short devotional, of course, and then on to business. Stay tuned…