Dear Partners in Ministry,

Tomorrow I depart for Detroit, MI, where I will take part in the 221st General Assembly of the PCUSA.  I am grateful for our commissioners who will give of their time, energy, and passion for Jesus Christ and the church.  Please join me in praying for Phyllis Black, Susie Krivenko, Ken Macari, Ryan Landino, and Sarai Mendez as they prepare for the experience ahead.  This year’s assembly will address topics like immigration, marriage, the Middle East, the environment, and the Belhar confession.  Because we are a diverse denomination in which differences of perspective are held and valued within our unity in Christ, the assembly will surely feature lively debate.  Let us pray that voices speaking with a distinctly Reformed and Presbyterian accent may bring the goodness, wisdom, and love of God to bear on these compelling issues of our day.

Let us pray that the assembly will also be a gathering that cultivates deep, authentic, life-giving relationship.  Let us pray for the Spirit of the Risen Christ to weave the assembly into a network that is gracious and hospitable, like the image of God in which each of us was made.  Let us pray that the COBO center, where the General Assembly gathers, will be a place that shelters and nurtures the spiritual lives  of all who meet within its walls.  Let us pray that the General Assembly of our denomination will summon the deepest concern, compassion and generosity of Presbyterians from sea to shining sea, so that our world may see Christ, know Christ, and love Christ.

As the assembly conducts its business, headlines, blogs, and tweets will go out into the world.  Paul Rack and I will both be blogging throughout the week.  We will have many stories to tell, upon our return.  Thanks for your partnership in the gospel.