Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Midweek at Synod School 2010

By now, the attendees of Synod of School are learning everyone's names and feeling a sense of community. Both within their classes and every day activities like worship, meal time, the Art Share Tent, the Coffee House, the Game Room, the movie theatre, etc.
We are staying in the double dorm rooms of White this year at Buena Vista University. Which has lended to our family meeting several new friends. We normally stay in the studio suites with a personal shower and bathroom. My daughter even got to room with a young girl from Colorado, who is here with her Grandmother and mom.
The food dining service is good for a college. Choices include a salad bar, grilled items, a main course and dessert each day. Having gone to Purdue last week with the Presbytery's Triennium delegation, we found a little more variety. But the food at Buena Vista is fresh and hot. Though the lunch room is a tade noisy, there are good feelings of fellowship with the ocassional break to join in song for a friends birthday.
The evening worship is centered around the theme of "Grace Notes." Leaders the Rev. Mark Davis and the Rev. Barbara Nish have been instructing and guiding us to hear our worship with different tones and building upon a component with several layers of sound or worship elements.
On Wednesday evening, we organize a Tweet-up for those peeps that are logging their Synod School experiences on the social network Twitter.com. Six people showed up to learn more about getting the 140 character submission to come into our phones automatically and to meet face-to-face with our fellow Tweets.
Obviously, there are many ways to connect with our Synod's various church and presbytery members across the six states and beyond.
Kim Coulter,
director of communications
Presbytery of Des Moines

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday at Synod School 2010

School is normally not a place you want to spend much time at. Once you've learned you are accomplished and can make your way in the world. However, here at Synod School, I find I want to make it last forever. the wealth of learning opportunities is unlimited. And the Monday is the start of classes... each person can take as many as four 1-hour classes during the week. Each day you go to these same four classes, hopefully finding an education or something that makes your heart sing (as one of my teachers said).

My classes this year at Synod School 2010 are: China and the Church, Aging Well, Memoir Writing and Emerging Church. I'm not teaching this year, which is an interesting feeling to sit back and watch more of the interaction between the 600 attendees from the different states in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies.

Each morning we begin the day with a 30 minute worship time, then our convocation speaker Rev. Dr. Roger Nishioka, professor at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., gives his presentation discussing reformed theology. As I head to my first class, I say "Hi," to many friends that I've met through out the 5 years I've been attending this event at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa.

My first class on China and the Church, is lead by Rev. Heidi Vardeman, pastor at Macalester Plymouth United Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. Today we had a treat from the Rev. Calvin Hsu (Guthrie Center, First) who gave us a short lesson on speaking Chinese.
After that I went to my Aging Well class lead by the Rev. Richard and Jean Ann Buller (Golden Valley, MN). It is probably the most well attended of my classes. Each seat is full and everyone is energetic to get there and experiment with the different activities each day. All are meant to help keep your brain active. Today's games were stacking cups and juggling - both increase your mind's capacity and agility.
My afternoon classes are Memoir Writing and Emerging Church. The instructors are Tamara Cox Burnett, CLP, (Merrill, WI) and the Rev. Susan Phillips (Shawano, WI). These are great teachers and wonderful classes too, unfortunately, I've not been as faithful in my personal writing and journaling as in my blogging and tweeting for the Presbytery. But maybe that just means I'm living my faith in a different way right now.
Kim Coulter
director of communications
Presbytery of Des Moines

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Heading Home from Presbyterian Youth Triennium 2010

I finally took off my PYT2010 band around my wrist. I had a great time and I didn't want it to end. The whole delegation seemed to have grown in their faith while we were at Purdue University in Indiana for those few days. You can see it through their blog reflections below.

One thing I was suprised about was how many of the teenagers were actual elders. In my Small Group #143, (pictured here) we had approximately 30 people, 4 of them were teen-aged elders.
During the final worship on Saturday, over 100 teen-aged elders served communion to all of the 5,000 attendees. Picture here is Kendra Allen (Ankeny), she was on the college-aged work crew and helped prepare the communion elements for the worship.
Another thing I was suprised about was how many people it takes to put on one of these events. The Rev. Rick Carus, from Ankeny Presbyterian Church and his wife Sue worked in the Triennium Exhibit Hall. I really enjoyed spending time there to talk with others who know that the youth are not just the churches future. The youth definitely benefit from the overall experience of Triennium and it makes them the leaders of today's church.
I have lots of pins to show off. The next time you're in the Presbytery Office, ask to see them. A few that I'm proud of, are the ones from our international delegates. I have pins from Germany, Brazil, Columbia and Taiwan. I also had one from Korea, but another adult advisor came up to me and asked about it... wanting to trade for one of his pins. I asked why. He said, "Because I was station over in Korea when I was with the military." With that response, I immediately traded it for a Purdue pin he had purchased.

All in all, we were very happy that we all went. I was rather tired when I arrived home, but I only had a few hours to sleep, wash clothes and pack again. For the next day, I was heading north to Storm Lake, Iowa for Synod School 2010. Yeah, more dorm beds and great food!

Kim Coulter, adult advisor and
director of communications
Presbytery of Des Moines

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Adventures of Sophomores @PYT2010

I would have to say that Triennium 2010 was the best week I have had this summer! It was an experience to see 5,000 other people worship in generally the same way we do. At our church, we will get probably around 100'ish people at every service. But to see 5,000 stand up and praise is truly an awesome thing to see!

Almost everything about this week I enjoyed. The sermons were all amazing, especially the last two we heard by Founder and Senior Pastor Rev. Graham Baird of Highlands Church, Paso Robles, California and the Rev. Dr. Tom Compolo, an Eastern College Sociology professor in Pennsylvania.

The food was good, we met new friends and became closer with old ones. Probably the best thing about the week was hearing the band, The Great Romance, play at the services. I don’t generally like Christian Rock bands, but there was something special about these guys. (Look them up.) I don’t regret this week in any way, and I hope to be there for Triennium 2013!

Emma Williams
Heartland Presbyterian Church, Clive

In the past year I have heard so many stories from my mother about her experience at the Presbyterian Youth Triennium. She told me how exciting it was to meet new people and how it was the first place she felt truly popular. Generally things that helped her grow socially.

My experience was almost completely different. Instead of new friends, I found a friend that I was convinced I would never see again as well as grew closer with my friends in the Des Moines Presbytery.

At age 15, this trip is about growing up. My personal growth is the pride in my faith. Something about being a pastor’s kid drives us to rebellion; we feel like just because people expect us and our faith to be perfect, it is our job to make it just the opposite.

Thankfully, I got through that phase pretty fast. But I was never really good at expressing my faith without fear of disapproval from my peers. Hopefully this week changed that. Seeing 5,000 other people my age, celebrating God with as much enthusiasm as we did, showed me that I am not alone in my faith. I don’t care anymore that I am the only one of my friends outside of my youth group that attends church regularly or is part of a youth group.

I used to think it was impossible to fully love God as a teenager because teenagers don’t know anything. We can’t really see the world or fully appreciate all of God’s creation, good or bad, because we haven’t had the chance to see it all. But in all truth, no one can ever understand everything. Faith is blind trust, and I realize that is just something I have to accept; it’s part of the package.

So thank you to Triennium; the staff, the design team, the actors, all the leaders who brought us there and took care of us, all the youth, my small group, and most of all thanks to God for letting me find my faith on my own time and loving me regardless of my insecurities in Him.
Madeleine King
Windsor Presbyterian Church, Windsor Heights

Triennium was a great experience for me, from learning more about my faith, to making lifelong friends, and seeing old and dear friends from other church camps;o) I would really enjoy going back everytime, for the rest of my life and making more friends and seeing the old ones.
Erica Coulter
Westminster Presbyterian Church, Des Moines

Presbyterian Youth Triennium was in the top 5 experiences that I have had in my life. Seeing over 5,000 youth worship and play as one, was an incredible sight that I may never have again in my life. I thank the Lord and everyone else who made this outstanding event take place.

Paige Klinkenborg
Heartland Presbyterian Church, Clive

Friday, July 23, 2010

More Reflections from our High School Graduates @PYT2010

So far, the Presbyterian Youth Triennium 2010 has been a great experience for me and all of the youth here. I am pumped for tomorrow morning because I get to serve communion with 100 hundred other teenaged elders!

Pictured here are (left to right): Emma Williams, Matt Kilian and Paige Klinkenborg all from Heartland Presbyterian Church in Clive.

Anyone reading this should definitely go on the next trip in three years. I know that I am going - probably being a small group leader or on the college-aged work crew. Young or old can go - don't be discouraged. I came with an open mind and I definitely had a great time and loved it!

Matt Kilian
Heartland Presbyterian Church, Clive

Our small group was really awesome, we worked well together. It may have something to do with being such a small room. The closeness helped make everyone work together to get our assignments and projects done.

Picture here at lunch are (left to right): Kasey Booth (Sharpsburg, United); Jeff Ewing (Dallas Center, First); Danielle Cross (Des Moines, Clifton Heights); and adult advisor Kim Coulter (Des Moines, Westminster).
Worship was a great experience. I was able to rehearse and sing with a special choir that sung on Friday evening and Saturday morning. It was largest group (nearly 250 members) that I ever sang it. It was amazing. The sound was rich and loud at the same time. The director was impressed with how quickly we got the songs memorized for worship.

Kasey Booth
Sharpsburg United Presbyterian Church

Thursday, July 22, 2010

For Such a Time as This @PYT2010

The week began with the first of five daily worship services. Over 5,000 youth plus adult leaders filed into the Elliott Hall of Music anticipating a long two-hour start to a long week. Our group sat in the first balcony. Lights of all colors spotted the stage, which was set with various risers, platforms and tall scaffolding.

All of a sudden, music burst out and a group of students and adult leaders ran onto the stage. We did several energizers and then The Great Romance, our worship band, lead us in some sound shattering songs, which were followed by a scripture-drama and a wonderful sermon from the 218th GA Moderator Rev. Dr. Bruce Reyes-Chow telling us that 'This Is Our Time'. The band came out and played a final song, and then the lights came back up. It had seemed less like two hours and more like 10 minutes.

Over the next few days, we had two more amazing services with two more amazing challenges from Rev. Debra Matthews to 'Step Into Greatness' and from Rev. Dr. Mitzi Minor to 'Hear The Call'. Whether you are from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) or Cumberland Presbyterian Church, young or old, worship so far has moved everyone to move and sway to the same beat.

Jeff Ewing, PYT Participant
Dallas Center, First Presbyterian Church
(worship video taken by Jeff Ewing)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Reflection on Small Groups @PYT2010

For many of the participants at the Presbyterian Youth Triennium 2010, the heart of the experience is a smaller group that becomes "home base."

(Pictured here is Small Group #143 Leader Rev. Dr. Charles Reese from the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of America. He is currently serving as senior pastor at the Faith Comberland Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas.)

For me, Small Group #73 became the place where I could get to know young people and reflect with them on God's word. How did that happen? Well...

Much of what we did was designed to help us move more deeply into the theme of the week: "For such a time as this." (based on Esther 4:14)

  • Had we ever stood up for someone or something?
  • Where do we identify with Esther's predicament?
  • How do Esther's decision and Jesus' response to his temptation speak to us?

(Pictured here are members of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Des Moines (left to right): Emily Hansen, Christian Education Director Kellie Johnson and Bethany .)

Our group leader used a variety of approaches to help us explore these things. We shared random pertinent facts about ourselves. We read Scripture and created role plays. We viewed historic artist's renderings of Esther and The Temptation. We played, prayed, and talked.

Like other Small Groups, ours divided into smaller Purim Groups. Mine included Mary, Shelby, Dez, Adam, and Lindsay. Inescapably, the theme came back again and again (for me, at least) to the dreadful, wondrous decisions that are being laid before us, no matter that our age.

(Pictured here are (L to R) Maddie Culp and Jordan Rhodes of Westminster Presbyterian Church.)

Author's Aside:

Clearly, one of the issues I imagine to be behind the selection of this theme is the crisis that is upon the church in this millenial age:
  • Can we still embody the hope and power of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
  • Will we be able to use but not be used by the revolution in networking and communication?
  • Are we able as an older, tradition-based institution to genuinely respond to the needs of our young people?
  • And perhaps most importantly: Will we step aside and let the new thing happen that God would have happen among us?

You ought to see all of these young people (and their leaders!) readying themselves to step up to be God's people - for their time.

For a time such as this.

Rev. Stephen Bowie, adult advisor
Bloomfield Christian Church

(Pictured here are members of (2nd from left) Adult Advisor Kim Coulter's Purmin Small Group #143.)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

PYT 2010 has Plenty of Time

The joy is that there are two delegations from the Presbytery of Des Moines at Triennium: a group of 30 from Westminster Presbyterian Church, and a more motley crew of 10 of us from several places around south central Iowa. We motleys arrived around 5 p.m., after a nicely benign day of travel in our 15 passenger van. Settling in Wiley Hall and then dinner happened at the Ford dining hall - and then, Oh! Worship!

I was in the second balcony on the Purdue University Hall of Music as it unfolded. The theme for the PYT gathering is "For Such a Time As This." We are all Esther, is the suggestion, of course. A worship troupe led us into the story dramatically. Staging captured eye and accompaniments ear. An ensemble as able as any 5-piece rock band could be, kept 6,000 worshippers on their feet. Former GA Moderator the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, preaching, invited participants to throw themselves into the story.

A bit of late-night recreation, meeting with the adult advisors, and a final check-in with the kids before bed. To sleep, perchance to dream. With a new day hours away.

This is very, very good.

Rev. Steve Bowie, Presbytery of member at-large
Bloomfield Christian Church

Monday, July 19, 2010

Excitement is building for PYT Delegation

Although statistics generated by the Religious Conference Management Association suggested that Presbyterian Youth Triennium 2010 numbers would be at an all-time low due to the economic downturn, more than 4,700 Presbyterian youth will gather this summer For Such A Time As This!

Discover why the energy is higher than ever on PYT’s Facebook or Twitter pages. Find out what is new at Triennium, for example the Ambassadors, a mentor ministry where senior adults and young people will experience and share faith together at Presbyterian Youth Triennium 2010. Also, watch the Des Moines Presbytery’s Blog for daily updates!

Prayers are needed for safe travel and spiritual insight for the delegations going to the Presbyterian Youth Triennium (PYT), Purdue University, LaFayette, Indiana.

The Des Moines Presbytery is sending 10 people: Erica Coulter (DM, Westminster); Danielle Cross (DM, Clifton Heights); Kasey Booth (Sharpsburg); Jeff Ewing (Dallas Center, First); Matt Kilian, Paige Klinkenborg and Emma Williams (Clive, Heartland); and Madeleine King (Windsor Heights, Windsor). Adult advisors are: Rev. Stephen Bowie (Bloomfield, Christian Church) and Kim Coulter (DM Westminster).

Others going include: Small Group leader Martie Larsen, CLP (Clive, Heartland), Rev. Rick & Sue Carus and Kendra Allen (Ankeny). Rick and Sue are part of the support staff and Kendra is on the College-Age Work Crew. Westminster Presbyterian Church in Des Moines is also taking a church delegation with 19 kids, and four adults.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

219th General Assembly - Tentmaker Reflects

Dear Friends,
A big thanks to Sharon, Charlie and Don for helping with the Association of Presbyterian Tentmakers (APT) display at the 219th General Assembly! Fred mailed materials for the display to me and our display was open for the whole exhibit from Friday afternoon (July 2) through Wednesday evening (July 7). Don mailed the set-up materials back to Fred.

Persons stopping by the display ranged from curiosity seekers to pastors, churches, and administrators with serious questions and requests for help. There were some fascinating stories of tentmakers at work... though most did not call themselves "tentmakers".

Face-to-face workshop on tentmaking was poorly attended, but the one young man that came was very impressive and was helped by the workshop.

Phyllis Tickle was a big hit in her pre-assembly workshops. She made several references to the importance of tentmakers and tentmaking. I met her and she is looking forward to our APT conference this fall.

I made several important contacts with seminaries... especially Austin, Pittsburgh, and Dubuque.

Our (APT) Board of Pensions contact, Phil Gehman, has helped with the publishing of Benefits for Tentmakers and other Part-Time Ministers of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The publication number is PLN-211, dated June, 2010.

My Top 6 Take-Aways:
  • There is a large number of pastors out there doing tentmaking (though most do not call themselves "tentmakers"). They are tentmaking because they have been called to it. They (like most of us) are already overloaded and don't much care about getting involved with another organization (like APT).
  • Who are they?
  • What are their stories and how do we listen?
  • How do we find ways to connect with them and let them help us tell others?
  • There is a growing awareness by seminaries about the importance of tentmaking. We need to work with Marcia in her contacts with placement and other grassroots seminary personel.
  • We have an opportunity in our conversations with Phyllis Tickle in November at the APT Conference. We do, however, need to be familiar with her book so that we can focus on how tentmaking fits in the picture.

Well, I have rambled on enough! Thanks for letting me represent Association of Presbyterian Tentmakers at General Assembly.

Rev. Ross Blount
United Presbyterian Church, Allerton
Presbytery of Des Moines

Saturday, July 10, 2010

219th General Assembly - Day 9

I think the thing that surprise me most about being a YAAD (which should probably be changed back to YAD since we just passed the overture stating that youth are 25 and under) was that everyone was a nerd - including me! I know it really shouldn't have surprised me; after all, all of us are voluntarily attending a business meeting in the middle of the summer. Still, I arrived to find a group of people who had actually read the overtures assigned to them and who had strong opinions about their committee issues. (Naomi is picture here in the middle of two other YAADs.)

My favorite part was that I had a completely sincere conversation with two other YAADs about how we thought we should be given copies of Robert's Rules of Order so that we would know what was going on beforehand. It was such a lovely realization; I felt like I was back at Wake Forest (where I go to college) except at GA, I had exponentially less homework.

At our YAAD outing to the Mall of America, we saw a show by a comedy troupe. In one of the skits, an audience member was to shout out a question. One of the YAADs sugggested, "Could you please explain parlamentary procedure?" Every single YAAD laughed! How many groups of young adults (or 'youth' by the assembly's brand-new definition) do you know who find parlamentary procedures funny? How many of them even know what parlamentary procedure is?

Like I said earlier, "Nerd Convention." In other words, tons of fun. (That is a serious statement.)

I was also pleasantly surprised by how well-respected the YAADs are. I fully expected to be treated as "one of those kids" and to be marginalized to some extent by the commissioners there was in no way the reality.

I had multiple commissioners ask my opinion and many more commend how the YAADs were both prepared and willing to speak in committee and plenary. It was cool to know that the adults do value the young people, and I would encourage andy adult who does value the youth to let them know that because it isn't something that is assumed.

Also, as I was the "new" voice, the adults near me in both committee and plenary helped me to follow the issues to understand what was happening. It was cool to interact with both YAADs and commissioners and to be able to voice my opinion on what the church should do.

Naomi Maxa, young adult advisory delegate
Lenox First Presbyterian Church
Presbytery of Des Moines

Friday, July 9, 2010

219th General Assembly - Day 8

Here is a scene from an theatre troupe just outside of the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Here in this photo on the right, is Rev. Stu Ritter, of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Des Moines. He came to GA in support of the Presbytery's overture. He is seen here at the Presbyterian Writer's Guild Luncheon.

Others that were at the 219th General Assembly were: Rev. David Stipp-Bethune, of Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, Des Moines and seen in this photo is Rev. Mark Davis, of Heartland Presbyterian Church, Clive, each visited the meeting a couple of days.

Paul Walther and Lila Jean Jensen, of First Presbyterian Church, Audubon, were able to spend a few days volunteering and serving communion at the 4th of July worship service where 8,000 Presbyterians were present! Paul is seen here volunteering in the convention center with two girls from the Atlanta, Ga. youth group.

If you were at the General Assembly in Minneapolis, please let us know and we'll post your information in the Presbytery's blog.

Kim Coulter, director of communications
Presbytery of Des Moines

Thursday, July 8, 2010

219th General Assembly - Day 7

Impressions of General Assembly 219
The only thing written in stone for Presbyterians is “nothing is written in stone.” Although the business we do is important for the church at this moment, the next GA can, after living with this GA’s decisions for two years, come back to the subject and go a different direction.

Some are refreshed by the possibility changing policies to their view point, while others tire of having to learn another new way. One thing for sure: we can’t let policy changes and personnel agendas get in the way of our service to Christ and his church. If we wait until we all agree on what we believe about everything, the church will have missed its calling.

In the end we will go all go back home and we will be a little encouraged and a little disappointed. How long do we have to live to learn that the church by its very nature must be somewhat flexible and somewhat fixed in its beliefs or it cannot survive? Each generation’s challenge is to do its best to strike a balance. Those who think it has gone too far one way or another are called to work to bring back that balance.

The church, yes, even the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), is not the best nor the worst of Christ’s body. We, like the body, must constantly take on nourishment, and rebuild cells. There are many worship and prayer opportunities at GA to feed its commissioners and we are in invited to grow from our common faith in Christ.

Can the body grow from being challenged? Is part of the blessing of the process to help us to sort out what is and what is not bringing people to a personal relationship to Jesus Christ? In the midst of it all, do we get it?

The main thing is and always will be the same. Christ is Lord; not forms of government, polices or procedures. The Church of Jesus Christ will continue and this PC(USA) branch, so long as we remember he is the vine, our true connection to the Eternal God. ~Colossians 1:15-20

Rev. Dennis Morey, Clergy Commissioner
First Presbyterian Church, Oskaloosa, IA
Presbytery of Des Moines

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

219th General Assembly - Day 6

The Liturgy of the Assembly - PART 1
It's Wednesday, we have been meeting in committees from morning until night, gazing at laptop screens and listening to advocates, resource persons, moderators, one another and the Holy Spirit, we hope. My thought is this: what if we imagined our deliberations and debates, our arguments and disagreements, our laughter and our tears, as liturgy?

Our common understanding of this ancient word is ‘work of the people’. Every Sunday morning we participate in liturgy in various ways. We recognize the presence of God through song, prayer and Word doing our part of the heavy lifting toward becoming the people of God, disciples and followers of Jesus Christ, infused with the Holy Spirit. It is grace revealed.

Certainly anyone who has ever participated in GA understands its work! It takes a lot of time, a lot of energy and a lot of fortitude to remain focused, connected to community and disciplined in listening more than speaking. It is in the midst of the process we see Christ revealed--a particular story to emphasize a point; a gesture of compromise to maintain relationship; a dawning recognition that we all bow down to the same Lord and Savior.

This is liturgy. Thanks be to God.

The Liturgy of the Assembly - PART 2
The continued liturgy of the Assembly is happening even as I write. It’s after 9 p.m., we are in plenary, debating the nFOG report and amendments. There is tension in the room as some lean one way and some the other. Trusting one another and more importantly trusting the Holy Spirit to ‘...be in the house...’ takes deep faith. No matter the decision, we have to get up tomorrow looking toward the morning sky, thanking God for the new day to do the liturgy of the Assembly. And the day after that and after that and after that...

Allowing the Lordship of Jesus Christ over all our lives forces us to let go. Yikes, its hard work!

Rev. Tiare L. Mathison, Minister/Commissioner
Des Moines Presbytery

Tiare blogged on Wednesday for the PC(USA) General Assembly Web site.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

219th General Assembly - Day 5

Well, this is my first GA experience. Being born into a Presbyterian family, it’s something I’ve heard about since I was a wee littler one, but I can’t say that I’ve really had the desire to have anything to do with GA until now. And I can honestly say that I’m glad I came. This is quite the experience. I’m a volunteer for the week and have been seeing lots of different aspects of the assembly of Presbyterians.

I’m working with the Synod of Lakes and Prairies staff, the Twin Cities Area Presbytery staff and the local church members – all who have volunteered their time and talents. Some are here for one 4-hour shift and others are here all day, every day, for the duration of the week-long meeting.

I’m totally amazed at how many volunteers it is taking to put this event on. There are volunteer registration folks, convention center greeters, various booth exhibitors with information and items for sale, tour guides, and many others to numerous to mention.

However, one of the most important volunteer jobs would be the prayer chapel volunteers. There are many folks who have volunteered to spend time in the prayer chapel to pray with anyone who comes in and to pray for those here at the assembly. There are prayer partners assigned to pray for every commissioner that is here. That is one of the most unnoticed, unheralded, but most important jobs here.

Thanks to all of those folks who volunteer!

Everyone should experience the General Assembly at least once. It’s a great experience! The people I am meeting are wonderful and you at home, can do your part with your prayers.

Betty Dyer, office manager
Presbytery of Des Moines