Long Day at GA!

Wow. It’s 11:30 pm as i sit to write. I just got back to my room. This will not be a long post!

My alarm went off at 5:30 am Detroit time, which is 3:30 am Denver time, and we only had breaks for meals. No nap! I am tired.

I rose early so I could get a good seat at the Middle East Peace Fellowship breakfast. I was not disappointed. I would love to write more about it, but there were three articulate speakers – a Palestinian, a Jew and a noted journalist (Gustav Niebuhr) – all spoke about a two-state solution and begged commissioners to vote against divestment proposals. 

This was followed by what were essentially caucuses. Several rooms were set up for commissioners to come, listen, and talk.

Opening worship was at 11:00, and it was powerful as you might imagine. A bagpipe troop began it by playing “Scotland the Brave.” The highlight for me was a young black man from Detroit who rapped a song, perfectly spiritual song. Congregational singing at GA is always moving, because you have several thousand voices singing as if they all meant it – passionately and with volume!

The afternoon was mostly administrative stuff and PR moments from the Office of the General Assembly. We clapped a lot. The show stealer, however, was a take-off/spoof of Les Miserables starring GA heavy-weights. Watch it: GA LES MIS SPOOF.

To make a long story short, the late afternoon and evening meetings were dominating with IT problems. Voting method A – internet voting – failed. Then, the “old” clickers malfunctioned. So the moderator was elected by a paper ballot! It was crazy! It tried the patience of all of our souls, but I saw no one leave. We hung in there until the bitter end, which came just after 11:00.

By the way, Heath Rada, of Montreat, NC, won the election in a landslide. He is a ruling elder and ran against two teaching elders. To be honest, any of them would have been fine. They basically all said the same thing, which is why – I guess – Rada won. You do expect a bit more out of the clergy. Since it was a verbal/theological tie, I voted for the ruling elder, as did the large majority.