General Assembly is Happening Soon!

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    As most of you aware, the 223rd General Assembly (GA) of the PC(USA) is coming up in just a couple of weeks, June 16-23!  This bi-annual meeting is where the national church makes decisions and sets policies that affect all of us.  Below you’ll find some links and resources that will help you follow the news and respond to questions from others about what’s happening.

    Also, please be in prayer for the GA in general and our 6 Commissioners and 1 Young Adult Advisory Delegate in specific (Vivian Bryant, Amy Fleming, Rachel Gibson, Rev. Robert Shaw, Rev. Alex Sosa, Rev. Bill Wildhack and YAAD Emily Bush).  GA service is a very significant commitment and everyone there could use some pray support!

    Major Upcoming Decisions:
    While there are always major decisions to be made, this GA will consider many substantive decisions regarding the future of our denomination’s vision and structure.

    • 2020 Vision Team
      • The 2020 Vision Team will propose a draft “Guiding Statement” for our denomination.  They suggest the PC(USA) is: Prayerful, Courageous, United, Serving, Alive (which spells PCUSA in case you didn’t notice).  Read their full report here.
    • Way Forward Commission
      • The Way Forward Commission was created by the 222nd GA with the intent to figure out a more effective structure for our Agencies to implement the work of the church. They will present a report for consideration at this GA.  Read more about their work here.
    • All Agency Review
    • Interesting Overtures
      • Fossil fuel divestment may be a controversial issue.
      • Check out the latter part of this article on one of the GA committees for a summary of the overtures going to just one GA committee.
    • Rise in Per Capita
      • The Office of the General Assembly proposed a very large increase in Per Capita, which has now been reduced to a request for an additional 10%.  Read more about this proposal here.

    GA Resources:

    If You’re Attending GA:
    If you are planning to attend the 223rd General Assembly as an observer, you are welcome to participate in the group dinner with others from the Presbytery of Tampa Bay. Our commissioners and advisory delegate and their guests are getting together for dinner on Tuesday June 19. Let Patrice Hatley know as soon as possible if you’d like to join us, so we can make sure there are enough seats reserved! Send an email with your name and cellphone number to

    Stated Clerk’s Paternity Leave:
    Cathy and I are expecting our 2nd child very soon now (it could be another few days or another few weeks).

    Please be aware that I’ll be on 4 weeks of paternity leave from the date of our son’s birth.  Rev. Robert Shaw, pastor of Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church and General Assembly Commissioner, will be the Temporary Stated Clerk for the Presbytery during those 4 weeks.  Please direct Stated Clerk business to once that happens (there will be an announcement via email, and an auto-response reminder on

    Planning Calendar Group Purchase:
    Many of you have requested it, and Rev. Laurie Palmer has stepped up!  Laurie is coordinating a group purchase of Presbyterian Planning Calendars for all of our churches.  She has 33 orders so far, but we need 50 for a major price break.

    Let Laurie know how many calendars your church wants and she’ll send you an email bill for calendars plus postage, or you may swing by St. Andrew PC, New Tampa, to pick yours up.

    If you are interested, please email Laurie at Thanks Laurie!

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