Posted June 21, 2016 in Around the Synod

Reflections from the Rev. Susan Faye Wonderland

Synod of the Trinity Transitional Executive


My Hopes for General Assembly

GA goes like this:

Travel… a long travel day…

Greet a long-lost colleague.




Elect moderators.

Hang out with friends.

Attend a committee conversation.

Commit to new action on an issue.


Visit with back-home friends and colleagues.

Stumble into a heated issue conversation.

Find the best coffee and donuts in town.

Make a new friend and discuss shared interests in ministry.


Read some background information around important overtures.

Breathe the Portland cool and clear air.

Attend an affinity group lunch.

Wonder about one’s next steps for the Kingdom (or PCUSA) come…


Take a picture.

Get on the wrong local transportation line.


Wander the exhibit hall, or haul, depending on what freebies you find…

More friends. 

More colleagues.

More conversation around key and not so key issues.

More prayer.

More food.

More commitment to “being”  and faithfulness…

Consider holding up signs with “WWJD”  written on them for stuck process.

Decide to pray for Ruach instead…

God does not disappoint.

Travel home… an even longer (and further) travel day.

One of my favorite pieces of literature is T.S. Eliot’s “The Journey of the Magi.” It is a story that speaks of change and challenge, surprise and struggle, as the Magi seek to find the Holy Child. The travelers are in a new place from the time they leave home, and who they will become as seekers begins to take shape the minute they step outside the familiar places and patterns that have sustained them!

Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear might find the General Assembly to be such a journey for those who attend, commissioners observers and other participants alike. If we come not so convinced of the journey we will be invited to take, nor of the places where we will find Jesus, it can be a time of surprising and invigorating (exhausting!) challenge and new/renewed call. It can be a time where the Holy Spirit dances with Robert (Rules) to open us to new possibilities for individual, congregation, judicatory and denomination.

God does not disappoint.

Perhaps, just perhaps, we may all travel home by another way!