General Assembly Is Almost Here

06.10.21 | Shepherding | by Jake Bennett

General Assembly Is Almost Here

    This year, Pastor Jones and I will be participating in General Assembly. I am sharing this with you to encourage you in three ways. Please pray. Please pray for our meeting. As the author of Hebrews 13 writes, the elders of our denomination need prayer as we seek to have clear consciences and to act honorably in making decisions for our Church.

     

    Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. Hebrews 13.18

    This past week I have had the privilege of serving on a denominational committee called RPR, Review of Presbytery Records. This committee is lightheartedly referred to as Presbyterian Purgatory. The goal of our committee is to review the annual minutes of all 88 Presbyteries in our denomination. This is no simple or easy task. Due to the cancellation of our General Assembly last year, we had to double our efforts (two years of minutes!). That meant our committee meeting was held virtually from noon to 9:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Let me tell you – the conversations were riveting!

    Joking aside, the work of this committee is invaluable. It helps our churches maintain accountability and connection with one another. It is also a work that helps to prepare for our annual General Assembly later this month. The General Assembly is the highest court in our denomination. This is another week long meeting in which the pastors and elders of our denomination will make decisions that impact our churches.

    This year, Pastor Jones and I will be participating in General Assembly. I am sharing this with you to encourage you in three ways. Please pray. Please pray for our meeting. As the author of Hebrews 13 writes, the elders of our denomination need prayer as we seek to have clear consciences and to act honorably in making decisions for our Church. In many ways, this meeting is also an endurance race. Since our meeting was canceled last year, much will need to be debated and decided upon. Would you pray that our denomination would be strengthened in unity and maintain the purity and peace of the church?

    Second, please consider what you read. I had a friend who frequently reminded me, “not everything is worth reading.” There will be lots of articles and blogs written about our denomination in the next few weeks in anticipation of the meeting. I encourage you to go to the most original source you can find. There have been times when I have read something about our denomination and have noticed that even the best authors will, at times, assume an unspoken motive or attribute a presumption. These assumptions can cause unnecessary fear or may even slander an honorable pastor, professor, or elder.

    Third, do not be discouraged. There are also a few challenging issues that will be discussed. The Assembly will consider how to respond to the study committee report on human sexuality. If you have not read this report, you can find it here. I would encourage you to be informed about these items. You can even watch our Assembly through the live stream found here. Remember that church polity and parliamentary procedure can be confusing. If you do not understand something that happened, do not assume the worst. Reach out and ask either Pastor John or me. We plan to share a report from our time with you after we return.

    Church family, thank you for the ways that you love and honor our Lord. Pray that our denomination’s pastors and elders would endure through this labor intensive work for the sake of Christ, the glory of God, and the advancement of His Kingdom. May the favor of the Lord our God be upon us and establish the work of our hands, yes, establish the work of our hands!

    ~ Jake Bennett

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