I attended General Assembly for the first time as a Youth Advisory Delegate in 1994, in Wichita, KS. One of the most meaningful parts of that experience for me was my participation on the Committee on Peacemaking, Christian Education, and Stewardship. Advisory Delegates to the General Assembly have full voice and vote in committee, whereas, in plenary, they have voice and advisory (not binding) vote. As a 17 year old, recently graduated from high school and preparing for college, I was energized by the opportunity to exercise so much agency and I took a highly active role in my committee. I was especially stoked to have been randomly assigned to the peacemaking committee because I had been active on the peacemaking task force in my presbytery and in various peacemaking organizations for several years at that point. After that Assembly I became active in our national peacemaking program through conferences and national committee work.
I have been less connected to the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program in recent years (not due to lack of appreciation or interest… just other draws on my time and energy), but imagine my delight to have been assigned to Committee 12– Peacemaking and International Issues, and to have been invited to serve as vice-moderator of that committee, no less! Full circle!
I’m grateful to report that our committee work is underway and that our process is unfolding smoothly thus far– advisory delegates and commissioners are cooperating constructively, together seeking the mind of Christ regarding issues of global significance. Thus far they are recommending approval of overture 12-05, with a comment added. This overture affirms our denomination’s longstanding commitment to the practices of boycott, divestment, and sanctions as non-violent means of encouraging social change. We turn our attention now to two overtures relating to the aftermath of the Korean War.