#GA222 - Days Three and Four

Combined Days 3 and 4 - both full days, but not a lot of different stuff to share. That's getting ready to change in a big way.


  1. Day 3 begins. Better night of sleep last night. Getting more adjusted to the time change. Met with Bills & Overtures for our 8:30 Bible study, as all committees are doing.
  2. So to recap, what I get to do for the next two days as a member of Bills & Overtures, is to sit in on an assigned committee to get a feel for what items they'll want to bring to the floor of plenary beginning Wed. night. I signed up for Middle East Issues, a committee with discussion centering around Israeli-Palestinian relations and divestment/boycott/two-state solutions - fairly contentious issues within and outside our denomination. Click HERE for a nice summary article from the Presbyterian Outlook.
  3. Hanging out in Middle East Issues observing for Bills & Overtures. And whadya know, there's a few people here. #GA222
    Hanging out in Middle East Issues observing for Bills & Overtures. And whadya know, there's a few people here. #GA222
  4. Lunch break....
  5. Back to my observation of Middle East Issues Committee. Discussion over the controversial 08-06 begins. Room is packed.
  6. If there is one thing we Presbyterians do well, it's debating over parliamentary procedure to set the stage for discussion on tricky issues, amending motions and then amending the amendments. I mean, we are truly amazing at it.
  7. Anyway, observation time over - for now. Time to make my way to the NEXT Church Happy Hour! #ItsMinistry

  8. Day 4 begins....
  9. Some sights on my morning run. #ga222
    Some sights on my morning run. #ga222
  10. The homeless population in Portland is very noticeable, as evident above. I asked a fellow commissioner and native Portlander about it. According to her, this actually is a testimony to Portland's open and welcoming attitude. Their mayor has publicly stated that no one should be harassed just because they are experiencing homelessness, and that anyone can pitch a tent or sleep in a corner without fear. That, and apparently nearby Seattle has "cleaned their streets" of their homeless population, so a lot of those folks have found their way to Portland. Not really a solution, but better than kicking them off to the next town. Makes me proud to know the good things that Charlotte is doing to address this issue.
  11. Back to observing Middle East Issues. Overtures being debated this morning are all around the BDS Movement - Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions - against companies doing business in Israel for their treatment of Palestinians. It is a hot, hot topic; hotter even than our recent foray into same-sex issues. Trying to mitigate standing up for justice without totally removing ourselves from the bargaining table is a tricky thing.