The Presbyterian Outlook is an independent weekly newsletter covering the life of the PC(USA). This series of articles provides a helpful overview of the actions taken by the 221st General Assembly.
Reported by Tami Seidel
Here we are again – back in plenary, a little more rested, a little apprehensive about the day, knowing what lies ahead this afternoon with fossil fuel divestment, Middle East issues and the marathon to finish all the Assembly’s business.
Because this is the 20th anniversary year of the Young Adult Volunteer program, alumni of the YAV program have led us in morning devotions. This morning, a young woman from Ireland who served as a YAV in Nashville, Tennessee shared a moving moment in the struggle for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. On June 27, 2012, Queen Elizabeth visited Northern Ireland and met with Martin McGuinness, a former commander of the IRA. The big question on everyone’s mind was “would they shake hands?” The YAV described what a powerful symbol a simple handshake could be, to see two people previously on different sides of bitter conflict, come together and offer each other their hands in peace. We were then asked reflect on when/where we have experienced reconciliation in our own lives.
The main business of the morning came from the Mid-Councils Committee, which didn’t seem like it would be a controversial topic. That’s what I thought too when I was assigned to this committee. Little did I know that long after all of the other committees (including Marriage and Middle East Issues) finished their work, we would still be plugging away, trying to discern the best way forward for our denomination’s middle governing bodies. Continue reading