General Assembly Day 2: Everything Starts

Barbara and Megan Hansen from Worship Times caught up on what was happening the first full day of General Assembly 223 in St. Louis right after opening worship. You can watch it on our Facebook page.

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Barbara’s husband also gifted she and Warren with Newark Presbytery Fire Department hats to celebrate the good, but challenging work that presbytery staff do every day, which often includes putting out fires:

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Barbara shares news from tonight’s moderator’s election:

Saturday Evening from St. Louis

Barbara Smith

This first full day of GA223 began with amazingly inspirational worship. The co-moderators of the 222nd General Assembly – Rev. Denise Anderson and Rev. Jan Edmiston – preached a joint sermon as they conclude their moderatorial term. Hundreds of voices were joined in prayer and song, we affirmed our faith with words adapted from the Confession of 1967, and we were fed at our Lord’s table.

This evening, commissioners once again gathered in the traditional Saturday evening activity – to elect the leader(s) of the 223rd General Assembly. Three teams were elected to stand – two co-moderator teams and one team of moderator/vice moderator.

Ruling Elder Chantal Atnip from the Presbytery of Carlisle presented herself as candidate for moderator. Chantal chose as her vice-moderator candidate, Rev. Ken Hockenberry from the Presbytery of Chicago.

Rev. Eliana Maxim, Associate Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Seattle, and Rev. Bertram Johnson from the Presbytery of New York City, presented themselves as co-moderator candidates.

Rev. Cindy Kohlmann, Presbytery Leader of the Presbytery of Northern New England and Boston, and Ruling Elder Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri from the Presbytery of Tropical Florida also presented themselves as co-moderator candidates.

After a 5-minute time of introduction by each team, the commissioners engaged the candidates in a 45-minute question and answer period, 3 minutes at a time.

The advisory delegates advised, and then the commissioners voted. To be elected, the winner would need 50.1% of the votes, or 262.  On the first vote, Atnip and Hockenberry received 45 votes, Maxim and Johnson received 250 votes, and Kohlmann and Cintrón-Olivieri received 229 votes.  On the second vote, Atnip and Hockenberry received 18 votes, Maxim and Johnson received 256 votes, and Kohlmann and Cintrón-Olivieri received 248 votes. Is the third time the charm?? Apparently not. On the third vote, Atnip and Hockenberry received 9 votes, Maxim and Johnson received 252 votes, and Kohlmann and Cintrón-Olivieri received 261 votes. On the fourth vote, Atnip and Hockenberry received 5 votes, Maxim and Johnson received 253 votes, and Kohlmann and Cintrón-Olivieri received 266 votes.

Ruling Elder Vilmarie Cintron-Olivieri, and the Rev. Cindy Kohlmann , co-moderators of the 223rd General Assembly of the PC(USA). (Photo by Michael Whitman)

Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri is an ESL teacher and a ruling elder at First Spanish Presbyterian Church in Miami. She served in 2017 as moderator of the Presbytery of Tropical Florida.

Cindy Kohlmann has been pastor of congregations in Ohio and Massachusetts, and currently serves in the newly designed position of resource presbyter for the Presbytery of Boston and the Presbytery of Northern New England.

Please keep our denominations new co-moderators, Cindy Kohlmann and Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri in your prayers!

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Day 2 GA News Digest