Commissioners Reflect on 224th General Assembly

Six ruling elders and ministers of the Word and Sacrament from Presbytery of the James were among 503 who participated in the 224th General Assembly, June 19-27, 2020. One advisory delegate and six alternates from POJ also were involved.

The event was conducted entirely online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Kenna Payne reflected, “This certainly was not the usual General Assembly and was not the one for which I (and everyone else) prepared.”

The theme, “From Lament to Hope,” captured in many ways the feelings our commissioners experienced.

"I was very much looking forward to participating in committee work, in plenary procedures, and in renewing old friendships and making new ones,” shared Brint Pratt Keyes.

And yet, our commissioners took on their responsibility with dedication and a sense of faithfulness to the task.

Hyun Chan Bae reflected, “As I approach my retirement, I recognize and am impressed with the technology we used for this year’s GA gathering.”

Worship is usually one of the most meaningful moments commissioners experience at GA. This year, many, including Judy Thomson, were deeply affected by the end of the final online plenary: “the 8 minutes, 46 seconds of silence during which we remembered George Floyd.”

POJ's GA delegation included those attending for the first time as well as repeat participants.

“This was a special GA for me; it has been 20 years since I last attended as a commissioner," commented Marilyn Johns. "I felt then and now the extraordinary responsibility of doing the work of the larger church.”

New to the GA experience, Noah Morgan attended as a  young adult advisory delegate (YAAD).

“The most meaningful moment," he shared, "was ... a series of moments of solidarity within the YAAD group.”

From the oldest to the youngest, the event was powerful in connecting our representatives with Presbyterians around the United States.

We are grateful for each of these individuals for spending so much time preparing for and participating in this shared experience. We also thank those at the Office of the General Assembly for their work in planning and conducting the event.

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Learn more about serving at the 224th General Assembly through reflections written by participants representing POJ:

Hyan Chan Bae
Teaching Elder Commissioner

Beverly Bullock
Teaching Elder Alternate

Ann Cherry
Teaching Elder Alternate

Marilyn Johns
Ruling Elder Commissioner

Brint Pratt Keyes
Teaching Elder Commissioner

Lamar Lockhart
Ruling Elder Alternate

Noah Morgan
Young Adult Advisory Delegate

Kenna Payne
Ruling Elder Commissioner

Judy Thomson
Teaching Elder Commissioner