20140616_174459 (1)General Assembly, while a great deal of work, thankfully has some times for refreshment and fun.   After completing our work in our committees today, the delegation from Heartland Presbytery/Kansas City gathered at a restaurant in Greektown for a great dinner, conversation and a time to wind down.

After dinner was over, I headed over to Tiger Stadium to catch the Tigers/Royals game.   It’s a gorgeous stadium with fun sculptures of Tigers prowling around the tops of the outer walls.   I got a ticket and settled in for the game.  The Royals, for the second night in the row, 20140617_211844scored 11 runs to reduce the Tigers to mere meows.   After all of the intense discussions, issue briefings and debates of GA, it was a great change of pace to catch the game and banter with Tiger fans and the KC boosters sprinkled around.

The day had begun with a breakfast focusing on evangelism.  In another provocative presentation, the speaker suggested that we consider spending less time on Sunday morning and more time in carrying the message of Christ outside our walls.  He shared how he, as a pastor, regularly asks his wife how she thinks worship went.  And then he realized, it doesn’t matter if it was perfect.  Did we gather and praise God?  Pray?  Hear the word read and proclaimed?   Good.  But then follow Jesus into Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.

20140617_084416From there, I shared in the morning worship service which featured a compelling sermon and stirring singing from a local Korean Presbyterian Church.   And then we received communion.

Following worship, all of the commissioners headed to their hearing rooms for a second and final full day of considering and voting upon the array of overtures (proposals) brought before this General Assembly.   In my Social Justice committee, we acted upon overtures related to abortion, the death penalty, end-of-life issues, a clemency request for Jose Oliver Rivera, tax justice, and more.   We completed 20140617_165138 (1)our work at 5:oo p.m.   It was gratifying to watch the church, in this committee, wrestle together with these issues and seek to discern God’s call for us with regard to each.

We will return Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to the plenary in the main convention hall where the actions taken in the various committees will be reported and submitted for vote by all the commissioners.  (You can track all the action and relevant documents at http://www.pc-biz.org.)

But for tonight, I’ll be satisfied with the 11-4 Royals win which put them a half game in first place.  Who knows what the rest of the season will hold, but maybe Royal fans will look back at these games in Detroit and see them as a turning point for the season.

And GA?   How, I wonder, will this national conference affect, shape and spur the witness of the church in this season?