Your Voices at the Table Matter

I just returned from a few days at the 226th General Assembly in Salt Lake City, Utah, and I was overwhelmed (in a good way!) by the sheer number of commissioners and observers who care about and serve the PC(USA). And even as our polity can get complicated and muddy the waters from time to time (Just what are we actually discussing right now – amending the main motion? Perfecting the minority report? Something else entirely?), the tenacity of the Presbyterians gathered and their intention to be faithful together was palpable.

I am incredibly grateful for the service of Rev. Jasmine Evans (Associate Pastor for Young Adults, North Avenue Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA), Rev. Colin Pettigrew (Clemson Presbyterian Student Association and Fort Hill Presbyterian Church), Rev. Doodle Harris (Chaplain, Hasting College), and Rev. Katrina Pekich-Bundy (Associate Protestant Chaplain, Alma College) who are connected to our network and served as commissioners to the 226th General Assembly. Katrina and former YAV Ekama Eni also coordinated the YAAD’s this year.

I am phenomenally proud of our Young Adult Advisory Delegates, many of whom you know as they attend our Presbyterian-related colleges and universities, are active in our UKirk Network ministries, or have grown up in our churches and gone to our Presbyterian camps and conferences. I had the honor of speaking to them on Sunday night, and one thing I shared was that their voices MATTER. As in past GA’s, what they would share on the floor of this GA would help our denomination discern God’s will together, and their words could bring clarity and guidance on tough issues.

I ran into Colin the first morning I arrived. He shared that he served as a YAAD back in the day, then additionally served on a GA committee. He said, “Even though each person in that room could have probably solved the issue we were tasked with by themselves, and I had no idea before I started, another member said to me, “Your voice and perspective is needed on this committee as much as anyone else’s. You belong at this table.” I think this is true for the church today as well – the voices not only of our young adults but those of us doing campus ministry are needed on the GA committees and commissions. We have a perspective to offer that people need to hear.”

As the PC(USA) journeys on from this assembly and nominations are considered for Advisory Committees, Special Committees, Task Forces, and GA Commissions, please consider going to the Nominations Portal and filling out the application to be considered for a General Assembly Level Committee or Commission. The larger church needs our wisdom, our perspectives, and our voices to continue discerning God’s will together.