My background in attending conferences have been mostly through Youth Specialties among several others. Those conference tended to have more than a little bit of energy in it. Whether that is through finger darts or a constant state of “one up one ship” between exhibit booths. Well, not so much here at GA. Just not anybody can be a “central” part of the Assembly. At its very core is representatives from 174 Presbyteries or Regional bodies that get to actually vote. Around them are different lobbing groups, observers, Presbyterian staff, and then there is me… a student observer.
While I am used to a bunch of running around and energy, this is a bit different. There is energy as groups are hopeful for the delegates to bring about change, whether it is more liberal or conservative. The enormity of what happens here is great. In many ways it is like what I imagine the US government to be like in a smaller context. What happens here affects every PCUSA congregation from rural Iowa to Los Angeles. At last nights class session we were talking about looking for the Holy Spirit in the midst of this Assembly. Should be interesting.