This is a post I am writing for myself — if you don’t want to spend a lot of time reading it, I won’t mind.
So often I find myself focusing on the business and the consequences of actions of General Assembly, I forget one of the main joys of going. The people. When I saw the most recent business posted on pc-biz, I sat back in my chair and smiled: remembering.
Rec-052 is the response to the piece of business I referenced here in the post about reading comments. It deals with the creation of the Restricted Funds Resolution Committee (RFRC). It is a specialized niche of the General Assembly world — it is not something that will appear in any headline or news report. I had a hand in the creation of this and am pleased to see that they are looking for a re-authorization. It rates as one of the highlights of all my time being involved with General Assemblies.
The gist of the issue was handling restricted funds. When people give money to the Foundation with restrictions — specifying the things for which the money may be used — the Foundation has a fiduciary responsibility to make sure that those restrictions are heeded. Over the course of time, circumstances change making the original restriction ambiguous. There were situations arising where the General Assembly Council (now, the General Assembly Mission Council — another act of this commissioner committee) thought funds should be available for distribution and the Foundation disagreed. There were only a handful of these restricted funds involved, but the disagreements were generating a fair amount of ill will between members of the GAC and the Foundation.
Four of the commissioners on Committee 8 — Mission Coordination and Budgets — met in a hotel lobby during the lunch break and crafted the RFRC process; and this was the reason it was a highlight for me. The four of us were very different — from different parts of the country, different perspectives, and lined up on different sides of all the major issues before the Assembly — but that did not matter. Here, we spent time praying together, discerning together, working quickly together, and arrived at a solution that seemed to provide a measure of grace to the parties most effected and the commissioner committee that was struggling to figure out what to do.
Scott, Ann, Joanne and I may not have the opportunity to sit down at a table together again in this life; but if we did, I would share with them what a blessing those few moments were to me.
So, even as we prepare for this upcoming Assembly and see all the things about which we disagree, it is important to take time to remember the people whom God has called together in His church — and to give thanks for God’s blessing us with each other.