Friday, February 06, 2009

The pariahs of the Presbytery Mission Fair

Photo of mission fair display for the Pittsburgh Presbytery Permanent Judicial Commission

Pittsburgh Presbytery had a mission fair at its meeting yesterday at the Pleasant Hills Community Presbyterian Church. The theme was "Showcasing the Presbytery" and all of the committees and entities that related dirctly to Pittsburgh Presbytery were invited to have a display. Unlike other committees that were present, the Permanent Judicial Commission was in the enviable position of not needing to lobby for budget money and not looking for work. Although I had never heard of a PJC having a display at such an event, it seemed to me that it would be appropriate for the PJC to make itself available — in a limited way — to the rest of the presbytery community.

I put together the display shown above, and a brochure that had the same information but in some greater detail. Two other members of the PJC (Dave Carver and Jeff Tindall) made themselves available to staff the table along with me.

I am not surprised that there was a low level of interest in our display, but the fascinating part of this experience was that so many people at the mission fair would glance at the display from a distance and then hurry past as if they were afraid of catching something if they lingered too long.

A couple of our brief visitors indicated that they had served on the PJC in the past. One person asked about how someone gets on a PJC and I directed her to the presbytery's nominating committee.

Even though the display met with a low level of interest, I was glad to have had the experience of putting it together. I hope that the display's existence will make it easier for the presbytery to explain this part of its work to people who have questions in the future.

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