I have been involved with the Presbyterian Church for my whole life. Whether it be Sunday school, youth group and Camp. This year, I was honoured to be able to participate in the General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church in Canada as a Young Adult Representative (YAR).
If any of you were at General Assembly or watching it on live stream, you know that there were difficult topics to debate and make decisions on. In the midst of all of the chaos of differing opinions and hard decisions there were many beautiful things that prevailed.
The Power of Prayer: As YARs we prayed a lot together; for each other and for the church. Before General Assembly, prayer was important to me but I hadn’t felt the power of prayer work in a long time. General Assembly can be scary for someone who has little experience in church politics and is surrounded by it and by challenging topics. Prayer really helped us to feel comfortable and feel like we were truly contributing to the work of God.
The Power of Unity: As I mentioned above, there were many differing opinions in the GA. At times this became more evident but there was never a time that we weren’t unified as a church. Although people voiced opinions that other may disagree with, everyone was respectful and really tried to listen to what others were saying. We had a listening circle time in which we sat in small groups and just listened to what others had to say, giving everyone the opportunity to feel heard and respected.
The Power of Love: In the group of 18 YARs that were at the event, there was never a time that I didn’t feel loved and cared for. We spent many late nights awake deep in discussion or playing board games. It is hard to believe how much you can grow to love people in 4.5 days.
The Power of Hope: Hope is a word that seems to be overused in the church but it is rightfully so. Hope is what keeps us going. It is what keeps us together. Without hope, we are nothing. I think that at General Assembly we had a lot of hope. No matter what our stance was on different topics, hope was the underlying feeling of all. Hope for unity within the church, hope for peaceful resolution of problems and hope for all the people there and in the church.
Overall, General Assembly was an eye-opening and humbling experience. I made new connections and developed a better understand of the work that goes into running a church. It was all a very worth-while experience.