A Taste of GA—Commissioners’ Reflections – Robin Clardy
Last week our denomination gathered for an historic meeting by Zoom of the 224th General Assembly. This summer, our E-News will feature reflections from each of our presbytery’s Commissioners. They are Teaching Elder (TE) Robin Clardy, TE Chineta Goodjoin, Ruling Elder (RE) Deborah Mayhew, RE Chris Mears, and Young Adult Advisory Delegate Miles Peterson. I am grateful to be so well represented by them and I invite you to join me in prayer for them as they continue their service as interpreters of our highest Council’s work.
To God be the glory,
Robin Clardy (Teaching Elder Commissioner, Validated Ministry)
As I use words in different ways, I learn new ways of understanding the dialogue. Words carry power, carry significance, and carry a history. May I be informed by those whose voices have not been heard so that I can speak words differently. May my words bring healing, reconciliation, and justice for those who have not known these things.
I appreciated Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson as he talked about the future and all that God can accomplish. He said that, “It isn’t ours to calculate. It is ours to be faithful.” We are to “go out and shake up this world with the message of Jesus Christ.”
I was challenged with the wording of “language hospitality” when it comes to the Assembly providing language translation for those whose language is not of the dominant culture. It made me think of how we might do this better for the Presbytery of Los Ranchos (PLR).
I was humbled to know that it took 100 people behind-the-scenes to make the 224th General Assembly happen.
I was awakened to the plight of many in the United States as I watched the Poor People’s Campaign.
I was moved to support the youth of Baltimore in their Youth Rising Coalition. I hope that their model might be one that can be used elsewhere.
I appreciated when J. Herbert said, “We are not resource poor.” We can work together with the resources given to us to move forward.
J. Herbert also said concerning small congregations, “What is the value of the small congregation? What is the life within the communities in which they sit?” He said that we need to “move from the success model to the significance model when it comes to smaller congregations.” What does this mean to who we are at this time in the life of PLR?
At the highest number logged onto the Zoom meeting, I noted 798 in total, 473 Commissioners, and 111 Advisory Delegates. My fellow Commissioners might have different numbers. It was fantastic to get the work done with so many people on two different platforms.
I appreciate the new Co-Moderators and the wisdom and voice they brought. May they lead in new and powerful ways these next two years.
Though I was able to offer an amendment to one of the motions that will become part of what we will live out as a policy for PC(USA), I was saddened that the voices that would have supported San Francisco Theological Seminary seemed silenced.
I was saddened that essential issues that have been worked on for the last two to four years and will need to be postponed until the 225th General Assembly.
It was amazing to see the cohesiveness of those behind-the-scenes making the 224th General Assembly happen. It was unprecedented.
I missed being with my fellow PLR Commissioners, sitting side-by-side, discerning the will of God for the PC(USA) and beyond. Yet I am thankful that we still had a way to do the work, even if by ourselves in our own places.
May God continue to guide and direct us as a presbytery and denomination.