Today the official business of the General Assembly began with the 900 or so delegates from around the world taking their places and preparing their votes. I am not a delegate but I attended the meetings throughout the day to observe and stay up on developments.
The morning began with an amazing time of prayer as delegates and guests across the convention center gathered in small groups to pray for God’s leadership and for unity as a church. It was a great way to start the proceedings and helped to establish right from the start that our church really does want God’s will to be carried out here and not any other agenda. Later in the morning Dr. Jesse Middendorf, the chairman of the Board of General Superintendents presented the “State of the Church” address. He laid out all the facts and figures and reminded us of the good things that God is doing in the Church of the Nazarene all around the world, even amidst the economic downturn. One interesting fact that he shared is that now only 35% of the membership in the Church of the Nazarene lives in the United States while 28% live in Latin America and 22% in Africa. We truly are an international church!
In the afternoon, three retiring General Superintendents (of the six!) were recognized and presented with commendations and plaques. And then this evening the Assembly began deliberation on a variety of resolutions as well as beginning the voting to replace these retiring G.S.s with three new ones. The position of General Superintendent is the highest elected office in our denomination. Please be in prayer as the voting continues tomorrow. Below are a couple of pictures of our kids with one current G.S. – Jesse Middendorf, who was our pastor in Kansas City while we were in seminary and before he became a G.S., and with one G.S. emeritus – Jim Bond, who was the president at Point Loma while I was a student there before he became a G.S.
Tomorrow we are taking a little break from the business to head to the Epcot Center with Jake and Laura and some other friends. Should be a fun time. We think that the cultural and technological emphasis of Epcot blends nicely with what we have been experiencing at General Assembly so we are looking forward to it. I’ll try and give a report tomorrow night…