General Assembly Day 7: Salsa and Jazz

Thursday found the assembly continuing to hear committee reports and take action on overtures, which meant they needed a few salsa breaks to stretch out the legs and shake loose the cobwebs. Thursday evening was an evening off from our work, and an opportunity to celebrate all the Presbyterian hands and feet that have been impacting St. Louis over the last two years in preparation for and during this General Assembly. Musician Kirk Whalum shared his amazing gifts of jazz with us.

General Assembly Day 7 Daily Digest

Thursday Afternoon in St. Louis

Barbara Smith

The Way Forward…

It has been a busy day thus far! And it has been an afternoon full of motions, and amendments, and “calls for questions” around the report of the “Way Forward Commission.” And for that reason, I am thankful that the daily GA newspaper is on-line and is being shared with you by our communication partners, Worship Times (see above).

However, I did want to report…

The commissioners, by a nearly unanimous vote, concurred with the following:

The 2020 Vision Team recommends that the 223rd General Assembly (2018) forward the proposed draft of the Guiding Statement to the church for study and comment in consideration of submitting it to the 224th General Assembly (2020) for approval.

God calls the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to be:


  • Confessing our sin before God and to those we have wronged, we accept our responsibility for the brokenness in the world and in ourselves. In Christ we are assured of forgiveness and freed to forgive others.
  • We ask the Holy Spirit to direct and guide us as we actively listen to Scripture and fully engage in the joys and challenges of life in this present world.
  • In Christ we are bound together by grace, cleansed in the waters of baptism, nourished at the Lord’s table, and sent out to share the Good News.


  • Reformed and always being reformed, we follow the Holy Spirit in new and imaginative ways to places we have not yet been.
  • We foster the hope of reconciliation in Christ that brings healing to individuals and communities, which transforms the world.
  • We work for God’s justice and peace for all people in every land, prioritizing the vulnerable, the marginalized, and the abused.


  • As members of the Church universal, we are Christ’s disciples, called by God and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
  • Against forces that seek to divide, Christ compels us to bear witness to a love that sustains community across great differences.
  • Striving to love all our neighbors as ourselves, we approach others in a spirit of openness and trust as we follow Jesus Christ in respecting the freedom of other religions, worldviews, and traditions.


  • As followers of the One who washed his disciples’ feet, we listen to and serve our neighbors, working to meet their practical needs.
  • We partner with others to become the hands and feet of God in the world, showing compassion and generosity to all creation.
  • We venture beyond the familiar, meeting people where they are as we share Christ’s transformative love.


  • We are a people of the resurrection: though death surrounds us, we are not afraid because we follow the One who was raised from the tomb.
  • The Holy Spirit gives us courage to build a community that reflects the fullness of God’s image in humanity: beautifully diverse and no longer divided by age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexuality, physical and mental ability, geography, or theological conviction.
  • In the sure and certain hope of resurrection, we testify that the church and its members are called to follow Christ’s model by risking all, even life itself, for the sake of the Gospel.

And so, God calls the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to be: Prayerful, Courageous, United, Serving, Alive.