Friday, April 21, 2006

Pittsburgh Presbytery meeting 04-06: 1. Overview

Pittsburgh Theological SeminaryPittsburgh Presbytery met at 1:00 PM on Thursday, April 20 at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. The three-hour meeting broke the recent string of meetings that ran hours past the expected time of adjournment. Eighty-six congregations were represented at the meeting by 129 ministers and 143 elders.

Important parts of the meeting included uplifting worship, debate of a controversial overture to the PCUSA General Assembly, reception of a final report of an Administrative Commission, and actions on various important vocational matters.

This was a glorious day to travel to and from the seminary. Acting Pastor to the Presbytery Dan Merry commented on the irony that those of us in the meeting would be spending our time underground in a windowless room.

Hank Bossers promoting the Canadian conoing tripOutside the meeting area, Hank Bossers (once the interim pastor at the Central Presbyterian Church of Tarentum) had his tents set up to promote the Canadian canoeing trip he leads each summer for a number of teenagers. (Those who want more information about the trip should reach Dr. Bossers at the Cheswick Presbyterian Church, where he is the Designated Pastor.)

Inside the meeting are, we were using a new meeting format that Pastor Merry explained was intended to provide for "open, honest, constructive discussion of important business early in the meeting." As I drove to the meeting I had been reflecting on my anticipation of such open, honest, and constructive discussion which is markedly different from my experience from earlier in the week in a secular meeting. There is something refreshing about being in a meeting where the issues under debate are fairly close to the issues that are actually at stake for the participants. What was new in this meeting format was that a potentially divisive piece of business was scheduled earlier in the meeting. The presbytery was able to approach it with minds that had not been numbed by hours of reports, and was able to finish all of its business ahead of schedule.

Because this was the first meeting of the Presbytery at the seminary since the arrival of the Rev. Dr. William J. Carl, III as the Seminary's President, this was the Presbytery's first opportunity to be greeted by him.

My other articles about this meeting: 1 2 3 4 5

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