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222nd General Assembly (2016)

General Information

 

Please also see the FAQs for additional information regarding assembly arrangements.

Planning for Your Time at the Assembly
The assembly will convene with worship at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 18, and adjourn by noon on Saturday, June 25. See the proposed docket. The full Schedule of Events includes descriptions of the many meetings, meals, and other events taking place during the assembly.

On Thursday of the assembly week (June 23), the Stated Clerk invites all assembly participants to wear some article of clothing (t-shirt, hat, scarf, etc.) that represents a mission activity of their congregation or presbytery. You can begin now making sure that you have something to wear on that day that shows the grand variety of Presbyterians engaged in mission.

Assembly business meetings will be held at the Oregon Convention Center in downtown Portland, Oregon. Most other meetings and events will take place there or in one of the assembly hotels.

Assembly Worship
There are many opportunities to worship together during the week, beginning with the Opening Worship Service on Saturday, June 18, 11:00 a.m., where Moderator Heath Rada will be the preacher, and communion will be celebrated. Preachers at the daily worship services are Jerry Andrews, Larissa Kwong Abazia, and Alice Ridgill. Bishop Reginald Jackson of the African Methodist Episcopal Church will preach at the Ecumenical Worship Service on Wednesday morning.

On Sunday morning, June 19, all assembly registrants are invited to worship with Portland area congregations that are making special arrangements to welcome them. Transportation is provided to those churches that are not within walking distance or accessible by public transportation, and most of the churches are providing lunch to their assembly guests on that day. Please sign up as you register so our hosts can arrange for transportation and lunch.

Bible Study at the Assembly
In addition to the worship and work of this assembly, Moderator Heath Rada has called on those gathered in Portland to engage together in Bible Study. Richard Boyce and Sung Hee Chang, both of Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, are writing a Bible Study that will be presented on Monday and Tuesday mornings, June 20 and 21. Commissioners and advisory delegates will begin their day of committee work focusing on scripture. Other assembly participants are invited to join together for Bible study in the Portland Ballroom of the convention center on those mornings. All of the resources will be available online for those throughout the church who wish to take advantage of this call to focus our hearts on the Word of God.

Riverside Conversations
This is an optional pre-assembly experience for commissioners and advisory delegates to begin engaging the key issues before the assembly. Conversations are scheduled on Saturday morning, June 18. 

Exhibit Hall
The exhibit hall will be located in Halls A1 & B at the Oregon Convention Center, and will be open from 10:00 a.m. on Friday, June 17, through 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 22. This is an excellent way to find out about the latest resources and happenings across the denomination, so plan to visit the displays of each of the General Assembly agencies and many related projects and not-for-profit groups, and those of many commercial vendors. The Bookstore (jointly sponsored by Presbyterian Publishing Corporation and PMA’s Curriculum Publishing) and the Global Marketplace are highlights of the hall. 

Mission Tours
The Committee on Local Arrangements has planned several mission tours during the assembly; full descriptions are available in the Schedule of Events. These are excellent opportunities to learn more about the history and cultural offerings of the area, and to see how the Presbytery of Cascades is engaged in mission. The tours are likely to be very popular and seating is limited, so purchase tickets when you register. Though most tours are not available to commissioners and advisory delegates as they conflict with official meeting times, some are scheduled for Friday, June 17, or after the assembly ends to accommodate those who can extend their stay in Portland.

Face-to-Face
Church Leadership Connection (CLC) (www.pcusa.org/clc), a ministry of the Office of the General Assembly, will sponsor a Face-to-Face event at the assembly. Search committees, mid council staff, teaching elders, and other church professionals have an opportunity to move beyond the written words of Personal Information Forms (PIF) and Ministry Information Forms (MIF) to meet and talk directly with one another about the possibility of ministry together. Face-to-Face is an opportunity to connect with a number of folks in one place over several days, and an opportunity to be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit leading you to places and people you may have never imagined.

For more information, call 888-728-7228, ext. 8550, or register on-line (pcusa.org/clc) to attend.

Presbyterian Polity, Program and Mission Educator Certification Course
Christian educators, teaching and ruling elders, and church members are sometimes not aware of the rich resources in the Book of Order, and the ability of polity to empower congregational ministry, faith formation, spiritual practices, and vocation as a mark of the God who sends the church into the world. Exploring polity in the context of the General Assembly will provide participants a broad understanding of the structure, governance, and mission of the PC(USA) and a vibrant picture of the church at work on the important issues that shape life and faith. In addition, access to the exhibit hall will provide lively interaction with resource materials produced by the denomination and the people who actively engage the denomination in ministry and mission. Through participation in worship; observation of committee discernment, plenary debate, and decision-making; and interaction with denominational leadership; course participants will be immersed in the work of this council that brings the diverse church together as one representation of the body of Christ. The course begins at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday morning, June 18, and concludes at noon on Wednesday, June 22. The instructor is Joyce MacKichan Walker. Advance registration is required—select the Educator Certification Course component as you register; the $320 fee includes the course fee and the GA registration fee. A minimum of twelve registrants (by May 1) are required for the course to proceed. For more information, contact Debbie Hough, chocdce@derrypres.org 

Space for Prayer
A space at the Oregon Convention Center will be set aside for personal prayer and spiritual refreshment and staffed by volunteers from the Committee on Local Arrangements. 

Dining and Meals
Some group meals are provided at the Oregon Convention Center for commissioners and advisory delegates; other participants can purchase tickets to these. There are concession areas in the convention center, restaurants in the assembly hotels, and many other restaurants and other dining outlets nearby. 

Many of the optional events scheduled during the assembly include a meal. Tickets can be purchased as you register; please also indicate special dietary restrictions.

The Gift Project
Assembly attendees are invited to bring a gift to benefit a mission designated by our generous hosts. The Committee on Local Arrangements (COLA) of the Presbytery of the Cascades has selected the Oregon Food Bank (OFB) as the recipient of these gifts. 

Although Oregon has a rich agricultural heritage, it consistently ranks near the top of states experiencing hunger, and about half of the households that are food-insecure include children. SNAP (food stamp) benefits typically do not cover food needs for a month, and many families have to rely on food pantries to supplement their nutritional needs. The Oregon Food Bank (OFB) does great work in helping to protect Oregon and southwest Washington families from food insecurity, and attacking the root causes of hunger.

OFB has been the recipient of national awards and recognition for its work in alleviating hunger in Oregon and Clark County, Washington, for more than thirty years. OFB partners with the food industry to increase donations from farms, retail outlets, and fisheries. In addition to distributing food, OFB works to address the root causes of hunger by offering nutrition education, strengthening local food systems, collaborating with community groups, and advocating for hunger relief at the local and Federal level. See additional information in the Schedule of Events under the Monday, June 20, Mission Tour opportunity.

Because OFB can stretch contributed funds to support many more meals than with contributed foodstuffs, the COLA is requesting monetary gifts. Contributions by cash, check, or credit card can be made on-site at the Gift Project table that will be located in the convention center, or you may contribute securely now via the Virtual Food Drive at http://engage.oregonfoodbank.org/goto/GA222. Please be generous!

Children at the Assembly
The General Assembly is a business meeting, with very long days and few family-oriented activities. Plenary and committee meetings can last from8:30am to 9:30pm or later most days. On-site child care is not available during the General Assembly, but for those who do bring children to the General Assembly, the OGA is working with the Committee on Local Arrangements to provide for a Family Room in the convention center, open during the hours of plenary sessions and committee meetings. It will not be staffed; parents may spend time with their child(ren) there. It will be equipped with rocking chairs, refrigerator, changing table, and other appropriate furnishings and equipment. 

Commissioners and advisory delegates should review information about the Dependent Care Policy and reimbursable expenses; other participants whose expenses are covered by one of the GA agencies should consult their agency’s policy and procedures. If you are expecting to submit reimbursement for non-traditional care as outlined in the policy please complete the Pre-Approval Form made available here

Deadlines

  • May 9—to request assembly housing (note that available rooms may be filled earlier, so you are advised to register ASAP).
  • June 3—for advance registration and ticket sales
  • June 3—cancellation deadline (registration fees, less a cancellation fee of $25 or 15 percent of total registration/ticket sales, whichever is greater), will be refunded if notice of cancellation is received by this date). Other than for canceled events, the G.A. Meeting Service does not refund payment for ticket orders canceled after June 5.

Questions?
gameetingservice@pcusa.org
888-728-7228, ext. 2417

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