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A Letter from the Pastor to Presbytery

General Assembly
Monday, July 2, 2012

Yesterday was a wonderful day of hosting our GA guests in our congregations for worship. While getting hundreds of folk from downtown hotels to our various place of worship was a monumental challenge, it came off with only minor glitches, thanks to the awesome work of our COLA volunteers. Many of our guests told me later in the day how wonderful it was to join Pittsburgh Presbyterians in their houses of worship.

Yesterday the commissioners began meeting in pre-assigned committees, each of which is dealing with overtures related to a specific area of concern (e.g., theology, peacemaking, or marriage). Recommendations for each piece of business on each committee’s agenda will be forwarded to the plenary assembly for final debate and vote.

Committees will continue to meet through Wednesday noon, at which time the full assembly will convene in plenary, in order to vote on the recommendations brought forward by the various committees.

On Monday GA continues to hold committee meetings. Committee members will debate the issues among themselves, then vote on a recommendation to the full assembly. On controversial matters, it is almost certain that committee votes will be sharply divided, and whichever side loses will bring a “minority report” to the Assembly, which will then vote on the relatives merits of the majority and the minority reports.

While this could sound like little more than a political game, let us remember that these processes of good order were all designed to assure that minority voices are fairly heard. More importantly, it enshrines a basic Christian principle that each member of the body has something to contribute that is essential to the whole body’s health and welfare.

So as the committee processes move forward, I invite us all to pray that through these various efforts to do everything “decently and in good order” (1 Corinthians 14:40), God’s will shall be heard and advanced in our church, so that the world may more fully know the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ.

Yours in him,



The Rev. Dr. Sheldon W. Sorge, Pastor to Pittsburgh Presbytery

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