I woke up to another beautiful morning here in Detroit and made my way from my hotel along the waterfront to the convention center.  The Detroit Princess (right) is moored along the walk.  Joggers and bikers passed by.

Our day began with a 7 a.m. breakfast and hilarious/biting/provocative/inspiring talk by writer Lillian Daniels.  Her most recent book is  When “Spiritual but Not Religious” Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church. Daniels spoke about how mainline denominations like the PCUSA have a tendency to offer utilitarian reasons for coming to church (i.e., we’re friendly, we have a great choir, good youth programs, etc.) instead of speaking about the difference Christ makes in our fellowship and own lives.   That seems a helpful, if basic, reminder for our church today.

Following breakfast, all the commissioners and advisory delegates divided up among the 15 committees that will hold the first round of discussions and voting on all the overtures (proposals) that are before the Assembly.  (While advisory delegates don’t have a vote on the FLOOR of GA, they DO have a vote in committee.)   I am serving on the Social

20140616_114747 Justices Committee and we’ll be considering 18 different overtures — from agricultural policies,  the death penalty, gun violence, end of life issues, tax justice and more.   Anyone can follow all the business of any committee by going to http://www.pc-biz.org.  Once there, click on the “Committee” tab and then on a link for any of the 15 committees.  Once at a Committee’s page, click on the “schedule” tab and you can see what each committee is working on at what time — as well as find links to the documents (including the original overtures) that the commissioners themselves are using.

I’ll welcome your comments and questions on any of the topics before the Social Justice or the other 14 committees!