Reported by Susan Andrews
As the General Assembly winds down, I am tired, full, exhilarated and concerned – mixed emotions – but recommitted to our larger Presbyterian family. But more than anything else, I am proud of Hudson River Presbytery. Our commissioners – Tami, Leslie, Stephen, Dale, Erika – were faithful, committed, and very present in voice and action on the Assembly floor. Rhonda, Susan, and Hans were extraordinary in their staff support and presence – and shepherded all six of our overtures to a successful conclusion.
Personally this was a busy General Assembly where my dual roles – as former Moderator of the GA and as General Presbyter of HRP – both connected and collided. I loved watching and encouraging our commissioners – even as I was asked to act out of my former Moderator role. And my personal commitment to the Israeli/Palestine issue kept me busy strategizing, speaking, and praying. It was not always easy to be two people!
As was reported in the GA media and on this blog, Rick Ufford-Chase and I, who enjoy a compatible and collegial relationship within the work and bounds of our presbytery, were visibly and vocally in opposite places on the divestment issue. After the vote to approve divestment, during which both Rick and I spoke, a member of the GA Staff came up to me – and jokingly suggested that Hudson River Presbytery may need a Peace Summit on peace issues in the Middle East! Actually, that is not a bad idea. Do you have any ideas how we can have an open and honest conversation about these issues in HRP? As a presbytery, we agree on most things. But on this issue, we as a presbytery family are deeply divided in our understanding and strategy. Please share any ideas you might have as to how we can move forward together as lovers of peace and justice in the Middle East.
Homeward bound. It will be good to see Sim and sleep in my own bed. But this week has been life-changing – as most General Assemblies usually are.