Report of General Assembly Commissioner, Kevin Colvard
REPORT OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY COMMISSIONER, REV. KEVIN COLVARD
The 183rd General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church was held in Murfreesboro, TN, June 17-21 2013 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Murfreesboro. Murfreesboro Presbytery served as the Assembly’s host. I was assigned to the Committee on Chaplains/Missions/Pastoral Development.
I arrived in Nashville on Saturday. Murfreesboro Presbytery graciously provided transportation from and to the Nashville Airport. My thanks to Rev. Brent Wills, pastor of the Jerusalem C.P. Church and the church for this kind convenience. I attended the Worship Service at the Jerusalem C.P. Church Sunday morning. Boyce and Beth Wallace were guests at the Service and Rev. Boyce Wallace preached. Rev. Wilfrido Quinonez, a minister delegate from Cauca Valley Presbytery was also a part of the Service. He brought greetings from the presbytery and shared a moving testimony with Rev. Wallace serving as translator. The church’s hospitality continued after the Service with a Fellowship Lunch.
The Assembly introduced a very useful tool this year for the delegates and participants. A Guidebook “app.” was made available for smart phones, tablets, etc., that contained almost all of the materials and resources including links, schedules, maps, and helpful local information needed for the meeting.
The following pre-Assembly workshops were made available on Sunday prior to registration, to the delegates and any interested persons:
- Set Them Free - Human Trafficking 101
- Step Out: Helping Your Congregation With The “E” Word: Evangelism
- Curriculum Chat
- Safe Sanctuary
- Lay Leader Program
- Unification Updates
- Our United Outreach Workshop
An orientation for all Commissioners and Youth Advisory Delegates (YAD’s) was held Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m...
- The election of Rev. Forrest Prosser as the moderator of the 183rd G.A.
- The recognition of Boyce and Beth Wallace for 50 years of Missionary service to Colombia
- The announcement of the retirement of Bob Prosser from the presidency of Bethel University
- The creation of the Stott-Wallace Missionary Fund
- The announcement of the formation of the Cumberland East Coast Korean Presbytery covering the arrears of New York and New Jersey. This is the first new C.P. presbytery in the U.S. in 100 years.
- Search for a new CEO for the Children’s Home continues.
I will begin with the business presented by the committee to which I was assigned. Our committee focused on the main part of the Missions Ministry Report, coming from the Ministry Council.. We recommended the concurrence of the creation of the Stott-Wallace Missionary Fund that has been endorsed by the CPWM. This was approved by the G.A.. A special offering, scheduled for Pentecost Sunday is requested to be taken by the congregations for the purpose of underwriting the salaries of our missionaries. The C.P. Church does not currently employ staff-missionaries making it necessary for each of our missionaries to raise their living expenses through donations. The goal of the Stott-Wallace offering is to raise one million dollars and to maintain this amount to allow our missionaries to serve without the added burden of having to raise their own living expenses.
Another important action of the committee was to recommend that the Missions Team be given the same oversight and authority as presbytery in working with groups of mission churches and provisional pastor’s or indigenous candidates for ministry on the mission field. This would allow the Mission Team to serve as an agent for ordinations, for the receiving of provisional congregations, the chartering of churches etc... This action passed.
I am including in this report the summary of actions that are made available through the General Assembly Office. It provides much more information in a much more concise format. I make it available with this report to the presbytery, but I would remind any interested person to go to the denominational website for more information.
In conclusion, I would have to say that this was the most positive and unified General Assembly in my experience. I was greatly encouraged by the evangelistic and missionary fervor that seemed to be pervasive in the Worship, Fellowship, and business of the Assembly. Their seemed to be an attitude of “let’s do the things that are necessary to fulfill the mission of the church.” I am personally grateful for the opportunity to serve the presbytery as a commissioner and I pray that I represented the presbytery faithfully. My thanks and appreciation to the presbytery for this renewing experience. There are many things for which we should be constant in our prayers and there are many things that God is doing in our midst. It is a great time to be a child of God and to be a part of His mission through the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.