Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The PC(USA) seeks to be guided by the movement of the Holy Spirit through: scripture, historic creeds, the Book of Order (our constitution), orderly group process (guided, in large part, by Roberts Rules of Order), and individual conscience.
The process of changing our constitution, with some variation, goes something like this (this is an oversimplification of the process that assumes all 'yes' votes): a person or session feels called to address a need or issue, they put this in writing and the session takes it to a meeting of their presbytery. The presbytery debates, perfects and passes the motion (now called 'an overture to the General Assembly'-like a 'bill' in the senate-). The overture goes to the GA offices and is assigned to a GA committee. The committee reviews the overture and decides that the overture will go before the GA. The overture is debated and voted upon by the GA. If passed, the overture is sent to all the presbyteries where it is debated and voted upon by each presbytery. If a majority of the presbyteries vote in favor of the 'overture' then it is placed in the constitution and carries authority (a 2/3 vote is needed to amend the confessions).
This year's GA may 'pass' an overture but no overture changing the constitution can have authority until it is passed by the local presbyteries. You may read a headline 'Presbyterians Vote to Ordain Kittens' but it should read, 'The General Assembly of the PC(USA) has voted to send to the local presbyteries for vote, a recommendation to ordain kittens.' [That's just a really long headline.]
More tomorrow. Peace, tl
Trinity is working in collaboration with Huffman Elementary School PTA and the Huffman/O'Malley Community Council to fix Huffman Park (located across the street from Trinity and Huffman Elementary).
Many of you participated in our first clean-up effort back in May - Thank you! Since then we have applied for and been granted a $14,000 grant from Anchorage Park Foundation to do some major repairs to the park!
More information will come later about dates to do some more work in the park, but in the meantime check out our grant website at http://www.anchorageparkfoundation.org/projects_challenge/2010_HuffmanPark.htm.
Get excited about this truly unique opportunity for us to be a part of our community in a new and active way!
Monday, June 28, 2010
Trinity's annual Kids Fun Week is right around the corner! I can't believe it's almost here! For months we've been praying, planning and preparing for this 3-day event to take place on July 7th, 8th and 9th.
This year we decided to do something different - take KFW off-site, have a theme that relates to a broad community audience and change the times around a bit. The interest from the community is high and we are thrilled to see how some of these changes might open new doors for kids to meet Jesus!
If you are a member of Trinity and reading this blog, you are well aware of our history of fabulous VBS programs. This year will be no exception and it's not too late for you to be involved. We ask for your prayers for the leadership and kids of this events; for our safety and that the Word will find "good soil" in all of us. There are lots of supplies to still collect so call me (345-4823) and I'll let you know what we need!
If you aren't a member of Trinity and reading this blog we hope you'll be able to participate by bringing kids to this event. Registration closes on Sunday, July 4th at midnight so register online (www.trinityalaska.org) or call me (345-4823)!
God bless you as you consider how to best be a part of this event :).
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Acronyms FYI by, Tom Letts
So, after a few conversations and some reflection, I've come to the realization that there are three kinds of people who will follow this blog. The first will want details and background and resources. You will want to study on your own and decide for yourself and follow the process on your own. I can probably help you best by pointing you, in a timely manner, to resources for information. The second type will want highlights and bullet points. 'There are four main issues, they are...' I can probably best help you by clean, brief information and 'sound bites.' The third type is pretty much my mom. Ruth will want to know how I'm doing. I'll help you, mom, by putting up lots of pictures on Trinity's Facebook page.
So, each blog post will start with a 'sound bite' for the day. Then I'll have a paragraph with links to further reading for those looking for more depth and information. For the next few days I'll take four of the main issues being presented to the Assembly in the Twin Cities. For today, however, I thought I'd give you a handy guide of common Acronyms used for this summer's assembly. Keep it for reference as I'll use them extensively in my posts. NOTE: there are 22 PAGES of acronyms in the commissioners handbook! Here are 11.
ACC-Advisory Committee on the Constitution
ACEIR-Advisory Committee on Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
BoO-Book of Order
FOG-Form of Government
GA-General Assembly (national meeting every 2 years)
GAC-General Assembly Council (board of directors)
OGA-Office of the General Assembly
PFR-Presbyterians for Renewal (renewal group, Tammy on the board)
PLGC-Presbyterians for Lesbian and Gay Concerns
TSAD-Theological Student Advisory Delegate
YAAD-Young Adult Advisory Delegate
Remember to go to pc-biz.org it THE web site for this Assembly.
TRAVEL NOTES: I leave July 1st and return to worship at Trinity on Sunday the 11th.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Read it a thousand times, dissected the surrounding events and landscape, but still missed the point. "Do you see this woman?"
Seeing with our eyes is different than seeing with our heart, and I'm going to try and do the latter more often.
The heroin addict on the front page of the Anchorage Daily News who can't seem to come clean.
A staggering man on the corner of A and Benson who draws a cross on the slab of cardboard he holds up in front of traffic, asking for money.
My own frightened, impulsive teenager who struggles every single day to do the right thing and often fails.
Do I see them? Do I provide them with even the minutae of grace they deserve and God provides, but too often I do not?
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Our team has turned into a well-oiled VBS machine. Crafts, Bible stories, games and snack took place today without any hang-ups. The weather was beautiful today, sunny with a high of 70. We're still hoping to be bug-free the rest of our time here, especially for our youth group bon fire on Wednesday. Our team had dinner at the church this evening with the pastor and elders from the village. Our great time in fellowship with them was followed this evening with another successful youth group. We had a time of singing, testimony, snack and games (the village's favorite).
Sunday means no VBS. We're hoping to have a number of children and teens come to church in the morning. Pastor Keith shared with me today his desire for VBS and youth group to attract a consistent number of young people to church after Trinity leaves.
God, let our work in AKP bring about fruit long after we fly back home.
Pray for Pastor Keith and Sally's ministry.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Stay tuned for continued updates throughout this week!!
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
On May 21st Becca Letts, Cameron Cartland, Ryan Olson and I went to Huffman Elementary to serve lunch to the staff on their last day of the year. (Tom and Tammy Letts, Lisa Darnell and Laurie Tweit were at Goldenview Middle School!)
It was a real treat for all of us to share a meal with our neighbors and check in after a long school year, talk about summer plans, and bask in the sunshine for a while!
Serving local teachers and school staff has become an annual tradition here at Trinity. All are welcome to join and it truly is the more the merrier! Check out these photos and we hope to see you at some future school events!
Next chance to join in the fun: Serve coffee to teachers, staff and parents on the First Day of School: August 18th! Stay tuned for more details to come!