Written in the Palm of God’s Hand


A key Jewish identity is that God gives a name an everlasting memorial, that each Jew is written in the palm of God’s hand never to be forgotten. “Yad Vashim” Hebrew from Isaiah 56:5. This is stunning.

Solely by Jesus Christ and his righteousness, we see ourselves in this verse too. Our identity is in Jesus Christ. Don’t you see? Don’t you see the abiding characteristic of a spiritual man or woman is how they identify with Jesus? And I think it is just as important that we can also talk to others about this relationship. Don’t we want Jesus to be the one concentrated passion of this one life of ours? Whenever we identity the love and longing of Jesus in others, we know that man or that woman is after God’s own heart.

We are written in the palm of God’s hand. Is the reverse true? So I can pray, “God above, I aim to never allow anything to distract you to me. Never allow anything to distract others from seeing you in me either. Amen.”

224th General Assembly (2020) Goes VIRTUAL June 26-27

Because of unwillingness to risk exposing communities across the nation to the potential danger posed by gathering so many in one place as early as June—and the unlikelihood that the venue will even be available—the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly decided this week that the 224th General Assembly (2020) will be conducted electronically. The assembly will convene on Friday, June 19, to elect a moderator and vice-moderator or co-moderators, and resume to conduct other business on June 26–27, thus allowing the newly-elected to be brought up to speed with the technology in the intervening days.

Among those to be consoled when it comes to the demise of the usual format for General Assembly (GA) this year, we are sad for commissioners and advisory delegates who were looking forward to a very different experience, and certainly also for the wonderful folks in the Presbytery of Baltimore who for years have been working diligently to welcome us to their beautiful city.
The traditional committee process will not take place this time around, but those who were appointed as committee moderators and vice-moderators will continue to function as the Assembly Committee on Business Referral. COGA has identified a list of business to be considered in this pared-down assembly, based on items identified as “core and critical to our governance and ecclesiology.”

According to this plan, most business will be referred to the 225th General Assembly (2022). Among the items that are proposed to be acted on this year are the election of the Stated Clerk (J. Herbert Nelson, II, has been nominated by the search committee for a second, four-year term), confirmation of other leaders, nominations, and budgets. Special committees slated to report to this GA would be dismissed with thanks, and consideration of their reports delayed until 2022. Information, including minutes and reports requiring no action, will be received. And a couple of items of particular concern to mid councils are on the action list: the continuation of the administrative commission for the Synod of the Covenant, and a proposal for an administrative commission with the authority to consider proposals to change mid council boundaries between assemblies. Other decisions still to be tackled by COGA

In this amended GA, no overtures will be presented. These efforts will be postponed to next year. More details will unfold.

Dave Kemp will be organizing a regional response for our staff and delegates as the virus may allow. He will be sharing details over the next few weeks.

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