PCA Assembly Updates

It has been a full and busy week here in Mobile.  We’re heading into the last day of General Assembly and a lot of the heavy work still lies ahead.  Tuesday was primarily preliminary committee work (some committees began working on the Friday before assembly started) in order to refine the overtures and organize the business to be addressed on the floor of the Assembly.  It sounds like a lot of busy work, and at times it is, but serving on these committees and getting involved like this is a great way to learn about and get connected in the ongoing ministry and work of the Church.

While today’s business before the Assembly includes some serious work on Racial Reconciliation, Nominations to standing committees of the Assembly, and working out the business that the committees bring to the floor – I think the most notable achievement so far at GA has been the selection of a logo for the PCA.

While this may seem like no big deal, apparently in the PCA, it is.  The question of a logo for the Church started at the first General Assembly, 44 years ago.  A final push in development over the last 10 years presented the Assembly with two options, and the following was selected:

logo

One of the things I learned yesterday as we discussed the logo and design is that surveyed reveal that Presbyterians like blue.  I don’t know why the logo of the church took so long to produce, nor why it was something that had to be considered by the Assembly – but there it is.

On the upside, having a logo does gives us another way of branding or presenting the information of our church in a consistent and recognizable way.

Personally – I think it looks a little like a Star Wars Stormtrooper’s helmet – which kind of makes me like it, and kind of doesn’t.

The best part of GA, of course, has been the fellowship. I have met so many Fathers and Brothers in the church who are committed to the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the building up of His Church.  There are exhibits from so many good and faithful ministry partners in the church, where you can learn about ways to get involved in ministry in and out of the local church.  There are friends, old and new, who are genuinely interested in learning about and praying for your church.  The worship has been incredible and the preaching uplifting.

God is good, and the state of our denomination is healthy as we continue to grow in and proclaim the supremacy of His grace in Jesus Christ.

Keep praying!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Ethan

Pickin’ Up the Accent

floss

Mornin!  Hows all y’all doin’?

That’s my attempt to fit in here in the deep south.  My spell check really didn’t like it, though, so I’ve got to start putting my “g’s” at the ends of the words, even though I have’t heard one since Sunday.

It’s beautiful here in Mobile, AL, where the Presbyterian Church in America has come together for the 44th General Assembly.  As we are a predominately Southern Church, the G.A. meetings are predominately in the South, and predominately attended by Southerners, there is a lot of Southern speaking going on.

As I have found in my experience, I have a sort of “chameleon” style accent – I tend to pick up, or perhaps slide into, the accent of those around me.  I was talking with a representative from Edinburgh, Scotland yesterday, and had to consciously keep myself from picking up the brogue.  It’s easy, when talking to my Church Fathers and Brothers from the South, to want to start talking with a Southern accent, but I don’t want to appear to be imitating them, so I have to make an effort to drop any accent whatsoever.  My hope is that when I return from GA, I won’t sound any different than when I left.  Everybody was worried about catching the Zika virus, my prayer is that I don’t come home with a Southern drawl.

Yet, there is an unmistakable accent spoken here in the Church that I hope to learn and speak the rest of my life.  It is the accent of grace.  We are a people saved, not predominately but entirely, by grace.  It is God’s grace that creates us out of chaos.  It is God’s grace in Jesus Christ that calls us out of death and sin.  It is God’s grace that re-creates us to be a people set apart for Him.  It is God’s grace that compels us in His Spirit to proclaim boldly the doctrines of Grace for the salvation of all men.  As the sweet southern charm soothes the frantic bustle of this northerners day, so the ever flowing grace of God brings comfort and refreshment to the weary soul.

The accent of grace is spoken fluently here, and I hope I sound like that every day.

G.A. Update – The first day of GA was excellent.  Most of the day was spent in seminars to help build up and equip the church. I did serve as the recording secretary of the Mission to North America Committee  of Commissioners, a job that ended as soon as the committee meeting ended – Amen!  The opening worship service was excellent, and we elected the new Moderator, Pastor George Robertson, from Augusta, GA.  The Assembly business begins today, as well as more seminars, so it will be a full and busy day. I’ll hopefully have more updates at the end of the day.

Grace and peace!