Presbyterian Church (USA) – Looking back and looking to the future

The Committee on the Bureau of the General Assembly holds its meeting in the fall in the new conference room at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville. Randy Hobson’s photo.

The Committee on the General Assembly Bureau opened its meeting this fall at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville. This was the first meeting since the 225th session of the General Assembly during the summer. While a portion of the time was spent on orientation and updates, the committee also evaluated the recently completed assembly and began thinking about how to approach the 226th assembly in Salt Lake City in 2024.

Dr. Susan Barnett, Director of PC Research Services (US), presented the results of the latest survey of commissioners and advisory delegates to the 225th General Assembly on their experiences with the Church’s first mixed assembly.

  • Preparation for the General Assembly: The majority of delegates and advisors expressed their satisfaction with the preparations that took place at the Assembly this year.
  • Technology Support: Nearly 80% of respondents were happy with the support they received regarding web applications and access to committee meetings and plenary sessions.
  • More than 80% of survey respondents say their committee used equality primes during meetings to ensure that all voices are heard in church business. More than half found the tools useful or very useful.
  • Event Participation: Worship was the most attended event by participants, with 97% reporting that they participated. Juneteenth attracted over 55% participation, while the “Hands & Feet” event attracted nearly 44%.
  • BIPOC Space Participation: Nearly half of eligible respondents participated in the virtual and physical BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and Colored) spaces provided at the General Assembly, giving individuals an opportunity to network and process their experiences in the Assembly.
  • Satisfaction with the 225th Session of the Assembly: Approximately 83% of delegates and consultants report that they are satisfied or fully satisfied with the Assembly and agree or strongly agree that the work of the Assembly has been completed.

Barnett said 405 commissioners and advisors responded to the survey.

BKBB participants at September 2022 PHS Live.

Dr. Susan Barnett, Director of PC Research Services (US), presents survey results from the 225th session of the General Assembly to COGA on Thursday. Randy Hobson’s photo.

“Across the board, people are very satisfied with the language services offered at GA. Those who speak English are very happy with the committee sessions that were given in another language, and some added that we should have done it before.” This is important for what a computer has become, she said. (USA) and what it is now. At least 60% said it gave them an opportunity to appreciate what it is like for those whose language is not English. They found it difficult but they want to do it again and are very proud of it happening.”

Barnett added that most respondents were happy with the use of equal primes and believed that the church needed to continue using it and extend it to include denominations for other meetings.

“There were those who felt it was a huge time commitment. We need to raise the 10% who participated in the association were working individuals who did it at a loss of income.” days before returning to work or sacrificing their income.”

Median respondents were either sages or sages, white, female, 58 years old.

“There are 2,500 comments we are still working on analyzing. Some respondents wrote a phrase, others wrote much more and touched on multiple topics and we are still uncovering them,” Barnett said. “When given the opportunity to express their opinions, this is where the gems are. . There are little things that pop up.”

The General Assembly voted to make the 226th Assembly a mixed grouping as well, with some changes. The committees will meet virtually, while the plenary sessions will take place in person in Salt Lake City. COGA has begun looking at how to organize online committee meetings. During the staff presentation on Thursday, two proposed options were presented. One option was for all committees to meet simultaneously online for three days, and then travel to Salt Lake City for the plenary sessions. The second option is for committee groups to meet online for two days over two weekends, reducing the full commitment of the association.

Discussions took place on how best to meet the needs of the delegates and consultants, taking into account the time commitments of the Association. Hybrid assembly 225 continued for three weeks. Both COGA and OGA employees agree that No. 226 should be changed.

I am a ruling leader and serve on a medium board. If you are someone who works 40, 60, 80 hours from Monday to Friday and then go to an online committee, that’s a lot. “For years I have advocated for the way our assembly enables those who work exclusively in the church to be there, but it costs those of us who work in secular jobs a lot just to be there,” said Elder Governor Miguel Rosa Morales. “We engaged 15% of our young adult consultants this summer because it was a three-week period. This is not possible for someone in college. Summer jobs are ways you can help them financially during the year. We cannot sacrifice YAADs.”

There was an extended discussion about adjusting options to meet time needs, including consideration of moving the election of moderator/co-coordinators beyond committee meetings at the start of plenary sessions.

“What might be helpful for us is to have a sense of your priorities about how these online committees work. Fewer meetings over more days or shorter days and longer meetings,” Treasure Davert said. “Having your input on your preferences will help us coordinate something to offer you.”

The conversation will continue during COGA’s monthly online meeting on October 20.

COGA also welcomed the new members of the committee:

  • Teaching Sheikh Joseph (Joe) Chu
    Paramus, New Jersey
  • Teaching Sheikh Chenyangu (Chenny) Khong
    Bloomfield, New Jersey
  • Elder Governor Miguel Rosa Morales
    Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico
  • Governor Jimena Leroux (corresponding member)
    Presbyterian Mission Agency Board
    Atlanta

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