Sunday, July 11, 2010

219th GA: Post Assembly Reflections

After packing up the PVJ Booth in GA Exhibit Hall Thursday evening, we got our first full night’s sleep in three nights. When we woke up Thursday morning, we started packing our own belongings and checked out of our room by 10:30 AM. With luggage in tow, a three block walk took us to the Government Plaza station on the light rail line. From there we rode the train to the Minneapolis airport were we boarded our AirTran flight for New York City’s LaGuardia Airport. (photo right)

While waiting in the Minneapolis airport and during a layover in Milwaukie, we watched the GA plenary via live streaming on my wife’s smart phone. Once we arrived home we watched on the screen of my laptop. We might have physically left Minneapolis but we had not spiritually left the Assembly, and the work of the Assembly went on, not scheduled to adjourn until Saturday morning.

I registered for the GA as both an Exhibitor (Presbyterian Voices for Justice) as well as an Observer. Although I opted not to register as Press, I went to the GA intending to blog about my experiences, and blog I did, 26 posts to date. I found that the more activities, events, and special meals I attended, the less time I had to blog. And the more I blogged, the less time I had to meander through the Exhibit Hall and visit with friends and colleagues. The key, for me, was finding a happy medium. If nothing else, attending the GA as an Exhibitor/Observer while trying to blog about the experience increased my respect for reporters and other journalists at the General Assembly and the work they do. Writing is hard work and takes time, if done well. Kudos to the Presbyterian News Service. Some in the secular press could use a brief introduction to Presbyterian polity and termimnology.

Since I am not a professional reporter or journalist I did not feel bound by the professional ethic of maintaining objectivity. It was not my intent to offer a fair, balanced, and objective viewpoint. I care about what happened at the General Assembly. I went to the GA with invested loyalties and interests as well as with passions and commitments and I wanted some of those passions and commitments to shine through in my posts.

Many others set out to blog about the GA, some who were there and some who were not. I encourage readers of Summit to Shore to peruse a few other blogs for a wider view. My friend and College in Ministry over at Raxweblog offers theologically informed reflections of his week at GA that go deeper and offer more analysis than my own, but he does not have pictures. For a view of GA through the eyes of a Young Adult Advisory Delegate (YAAD), take a look at Liz goes to GA. For a view through the eyes of a first time Elder Commissioner, visit Leaning Downstreams. John Vest was a Minsiter Commissioner to the GA and offers reflections his blog.  Minister Observer David Ensign offers his reflections at Faithful Agitation. Another friend and college who was not at GA but followed it closely and commented from afar blogs at Shuck and Jive.  And finally, THE GA JUNKIE offers substantial analysis, some of it statistical with graphs (but no pictures).

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