Executive Presbyter, Tom Cramer, Chronicles His GA Experiences

Jul 8, 2024

Sunday, 6/30


GA EP Post #1, Su06/30 – It’s not like I’m representing Team USA in Men’s Pole Vault, but I’m proud to be catching up with Ruling Elder Anne Sivley (Placentia) and Teaching Elder Leanne Strommen (Community, San Juan Capistrano) as they represent the Presbytery of Los Ranchos at the 226th General Assembly of the PC (USA). I realize there’s a ton of business to consider at this first in-person gathering of the Assembly since COVID, and more than a few complex issues to sort out, but equally important to me is the opportunity to worship, pray, and just “be” with beloved siblings from all over our wider church family. In that sense, the Assembly is like a huge family reunion in which we get to see our dearest cousins again and meet our second cousins for the first time. Within only a few days, we are reminded how beautiful and differently gifted our wider church family is, and how inspiring it is to follow Christ with these amazing people of faith. Time to go. Wheels up!

Arrived SLT

Super clean, modern airport with a light rail system that only charges $2.50 to get to the convention center. Astounding how modern and beautiful this airport is, not to mention the view when you get outside.




View from Hotel Window

It won’t be hard to get to the Salt Palace Convention Center from my room,
that’s for sure!





Seen during registration at the Salt Palace, site of plenaries for the 226th GA.

God’s People Gather

Teaching Elder Commissioner, Leanne Strommen

Button, Buttons, Buttons

Opening Worship

The people of God lifting holy hands in worship.






I love these signs outside of the Salt Palace Convention Center.





Tom’s Friend, John Mbae, Traveled All the Way from Kenya

It was so fun to see my friend John Mbae from Kenya. He is now the Deputy Secretary General of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa. We met when he was a pastor in Narok (western Kenya). Now he. Is representing his whole denomination! Also, another fun connection is that Johnson Kinyua was his theology professor at the Presbyterian University in Kenya. Also, Johnson is coordinating PMA’s Kenya Mission Network meeting this August.



Monday, 7/1

Rev. Chris Carrasco

It’s fun to meet up with friends from other chapters of ministry. Here’s Rev. Dr. Chris Carrasco who was a high school student of mine in my first call to Geneva Presbyterian Church. Shown here is Chris greeting the 8th President of Princeton Theological Seminary, Jonathan L. Walton, where Chris and I both attended seminary, years apart, of course. Rev. Dr. Carrasco is now a pastor in Virginia Beach, Virginia.



Tom & Rev. Chris Pritchett

And here’s a selfie with Rev. Dr. Chris Pritchett, Pastor of Mt. Olympus Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City, formerly an Associate Pastor of the Presbyterian Church of the Master in Mission Viejo. Mt. Olympus is a great example of a congregation that practices radical hospitality and inclusiveness.




Wednesday, 7/3


Tom stops by to pet Nessie, emotional support dog in training, and her trainer Dee Cooper, Lead Presbyter, Presbytery of Denver







Leanne Strommen processes with the chalice and paten during morning worship.

Thursday, 7/4

Happy FINAL day of the General Assembly, friends! You have done excellent work and you have done it lovingly! If you wish to read summaries of each day’s accomplishments and events, I find this digest exceedingly helpful. If it is not easy for you to access, I will send it a different way. Grace, peace, and joy as you reflect on this significant week in the church’s service.

Los Ranchos Commissioners and Staff Gather for an Evening Meal

Thanks to Sandra Kim, I have a photo from our last supper with Los Ranchos’ commissioners and dear  friend Chris Carrasco, formerly a youth from Geneva Presbyterian Church and now a pastor in Virginia Beach.






Tom and Sandra Kim, Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Los Ranchos

Gavel just dropped!





Farewell to Salt Lake City

The July 23rd Edition of the eNews will feature reflections on their GA experiences from Commissioners Ann Sivley and Leanne Strommen as well as from Tom Cramer.