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general assembly 3

Well, my husband has decided to teach summer school. He is teaching because he is a hard worker.  He is teaching because his district needs him.   He is teaching summer school this year because teaching 5th graders is something that he has not done before.   He is interested by a challenge.  Teaching summer school and attending summer school is not an easy thing.  It means finding energy to go against the school’s out for the summer energy that fills school districts, local school building and neighborhoods.  Those students who attend summer school do so because they or their families have an urgency.  The urgency is to improve skills and comprehension in state tested subjected like math, reading, history and science.  Attendance at summer school promises that one will be up-to-speed with one’s peers when the Fall arrives.

As it turns out, Presbyterians have their own summer school.  We do it every other year and it comes together as our General Assembly.  Like the summer school of the school districts throughout our nation, General Assembly requires some unusual energy. But teaching elders and ruling elders, observers and mid council folks, find the energy because there is also a promise.  Attendance at the Presbyterian summer school of General Assembly promises to bring us up to speed in our world and faith.  Summer school always happens when its hot.  General Assemblies are no different.

Presbyterian summer school is diligent in its efforts to develop reading skills.  Throughout the assembly we will read hundreds of documents …. words on a  page.  As we do that, we will be reading circumstances that are of concern and joy in our world.  Presbyterians are known for their political opinion.    We Presbyterians believe in asking the General Assembly commissioners to study. We  believe that a faithful reading of real life circumstances from margin to mainstream  is faithful to Christ.  Christ, who moved at the margins and within the mainstream in order to unite what would otherwise be divided.  As we practice our reading, we Presbyterians gather as a crowd into our Teacher’s  classroom.

Presbyterian summer school is also rigorous in addition and subtraction.  We will managing budgets and questions that surround them.  But the most important accounting will be the counter-intuitive accounting.  We will add up the cost of following Christ. Adding the cost will exercise us all day,  for the entire seven days of our assembly.

In some ways, it is the reading and the math that bring us to the science of being Presbyterian.  At our best we are a laboratory, experimenting with the ionic bonding of faith.  You remember ionic bonds.  Those bonds that are established between two atoms caused by the electrostatic force between oppositely-charged ions.  We teaching elders and ruling elders will come charged for our heated work.  Some say that the 221st Assembly promises to further split and divide our denomination.   But we are more discerning than that.  Even in our oppositely charged passions, we know better.   We remember the charge modeled by Christ to go out into the world and abide together in our differences.

I trust that we will try to find that Christ-like ionic bond that has long been the mystery of the church.  Yes, you are ahead of me…it is, indeed, the ionic bond that produces salt.  Matthew 5:13

9 days!

 

 

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