219th GA, Days Two and Three in a Nutshell

This is a post from Sean Bowen, Administrative Assistant of PPL:

The 219th General Assembly of the PC(USA) started yesterday at 1:30pm.  I was busy at the time with a handful of PPL Team members handing our special GA newsletter, the Daily Delivery, out on the streets outside the convention center here in Minneapolis.  While the commencement ceremonies were about to begin, we passed out our DD's to as many commissioners and advisory delegates as we were blessed to have pass our way.  Over the past few years we have been more and more curtailed as to where we were allowed to pass out our fliers.  Because of those restrictions in the 2008 GA, we had to focus our distribution on commissioner mailboxes, and this year there were none!  But thankfully our team members met with no harassment during this first handout and we hope that we might be so blessed tomorrow when we go out to do so again.

The event of greatest concern during the first day of official business was the election of the 219th GA Moderator.  The starting ceremonies tend to have a lot of fanfare, and this one had a baptism, but they are usually of less importance than the days when actual overtures are considered. The Moderator who was elected is Cynthia Bolbach, a church elder.  She is known to be in favor of allowing homosexual marriage.  There are overtures on civil unions being considered this GA, so please pray that God would preserve the PC(USA) from that as well as many other issues of concern (for detailed information on overtures that we are concerned with, please see those listed on the PPL GA website.)

Today we had a bit of an easier morning, thankfully as today is the Lord's Day.  Our team members all had their own choice of churches to visit, and most tend to shy away from the GA's official service as those proceedings do not tend to nourish with the truth of God's word.  At lunch time we were tremendously blessed to hear a talk from Dr. David Swanson at our first PPL event and his talk will be up on the web soon.  He is a passionate pastor and his sermon is well worth the short time it will take you to watch it.  We will post the link on the website as soon as possible.

Committees also started meeting today during the afternoon hours, though very little in the way of real business happened today.  Orientation, learning about meeting procedure, and a greeting from the various advisory groups occupied the GA delegates time in their first meetings.  And just so you know, the advisory groups they got to hear from were only those officially connected with the General Assembly, groups like the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy and the Advisory Committee on Women's Concerns, which do not generally favor PPL's Biblical stances.  I find it terribly unjust to the people in the pews of the PC(USA) that they are unilaterally represented by such groups that, in my opinion, do not follow the testimony of scripture or the majority view of the church at large.

Tonight our team members are preparing for the meat and potato events of the committee meetings, public testimony and the actual deliberation of overtures before the assembly.  We need your prayers right now and over the rest of the week most seriously.  If God does not make our few voices powerful and authoritative then we will have little affect at this GA.  We have been working with commissioners in each committee that is facing life issues. Our team has been preparing testimonies to give in favor of God's truth. And with his power, with the Holy Spirit of God to give influential might to our feeble expressions, we will win a mighty victory this year.  Without God we have no hope, but with the Lord our hope is unending and assured.


  1. Praise the Lord for the work and testimony of the PPL GA team. Your faithfulness to God's Word and willingness to serve in hostile conditions is inspiring. I pray the Holy Spirit will strengthen and empower the team's efforts to advance His Kingdom at the GA this year!


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