Click here to listen to the 2/16/16 edition of #CarmenTalk, where you will here Carmen discuss:
1. Moderator Heath Rad is excited about the identity/purpose conversation. There will be a GA committee dedicated to the subject and they will be in Portland a day early. Currently the COGA “identity” process does not include PMA staff.
2. Presbyteries are continuing to send overtures for General Assembly consideration. Overture 050 from New York City Presbytery is particularly interesting: demanding an apology for PCUSA’s two-hundred and twenty year position of following clear Biblical teaching and aligning itself with more than 2,000 years of Christian tradition by failing to allow practicing LGBTQ/Q people to be ordained as church officers and not permitting same-sex marriages by PCUSA ministers or in PCUSA churches.
This overture now has a concurrence and the group That All May Freely Serve (TAMFS) is pushing it hard. I have pointed out to them that the overture is in stark contrast to what Rada, Charles B. “Chip” Hardwick, director of the PCUSA’s Theology, Worship and Education and Covenant Network have been saying.
Admittedly, it is consistent with TAMFS position that this is a justice issue and if its a justice issue then it is inconsistent to allow anyone to retain the unjust position.
Tony de la Rosa may use this as, along with Belhar, to promote his concern that the primary problem with the PCUSA is white supremacy. Watch for lots of language around “privilege” and a plan for churches to be forcibly diversified.
3. Rick Ufford Chase has been hired by the Presbyterian Mission Agency as a part-time associate for interfaith relations in office of theology and worship and another pt associate for interfaith relations has been hired specifically on immigration/refugee concerns.
4. The Presbyterian Mission Agency Board meet recently in Louisville. You will want to look through this page of business and download what interests you – among other things, it includes: per capita budget, 2016 adjusted PMA budget, two year mission work plan, info from Exec Dir office, World mission report, Advisory committee on Social Witness policy reports to GA,Directory for Worship revisions, etc.
Notably: MRTI recommended against Fossil Fuel divestment.
ACSWP info is also in Salt & Light newsletter
5. COGA also met recently in Lousiville. Raising the per capita rate year over year for the next three years was supported by membership projections that anticipate 500,000 net loss of members from 2015-2020. The per capita presentation