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220th General Assembly (2012)

General Advice for Commissioners and Advisory Delegates


Congratulations on your election as a commissioner or advisory delegate to the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Six hundred eighty eight commissioners representing 173 presbyteries will attend the assembly, along with young adult advisory delegates, theological student advisory delegates, missionary advisory delegates, and ecumenical advisory delegates.

Hundreds of other participants – members of our G.A. boards and committees, national staff, synod and presbytery staff, seminary presidents and representatives, and hundreds of observers - will join us in Pittsburgh for this biennial gathering. The Committee on Local Arrangements of Pittsburgh Presbytery is already hard at work on its ministry of hospitality; those volunteers will be among the first to greet you in Pittsburgh.

Our time together this summer will be full – including business sessions, committee meetings, and daily worship services. There are opportunities to visit the exhibit hall with displays of the church’s agencies and related organizations, and to take part in dozens of optional events sponsored by our departments and ministries, seminaries, caucuses, affiliated organizations, etc. I trust that you will leave Pittsburgh with a sense of accomplishment and an appreciation of the rich diversity of our denomination.

You probably have many questions about the assembly and your role there, including some very basic ones about logistical arrangements. The G.A. Meeting Service of the Office of the General Assembly has provided these FAQs to answer some of your questions.

As you begin making your plans for the assembly, I encourage you to become acquainted with the responsibilities of the General Assembly (Book of Order, G-3.0501). In addition, take time to read the Foundations of Presbyterian Polity (chapters F-1 to F-3 of the Book of Order), which outline the principles of our representative form of government. I also invite you to join me in adding to your daily worship a prayer asking God to give us gifts so that we may better serve God’s kingdom—to empower us with the gifts of strength and discernment, gifts built on the knowledge of the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ.

It is my hope that this common prayer will help us become a spiritual community working together to seek God’s will for our church.

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