Resolution of Thanks

The series of reflections on this year’s General Assembly did not pan out as I had hoped, so I’m going to conclude with posting this year’s resolution of thanks. This resolution, presented each year by Mel Duncan, a ruling elder from Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC highlights some features of the area where the GA was held as well as expressing thanks and hope for the Church.

Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod here at the 39th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America.

For here we stand on the edge of the new world hoping for a world to come in this commonwealth cradle of American civilization, the Old Dominion, mother of Presidents. Here we sing the ancient psalms of exile from French Huguenots fleeing to Virginia and the spirituals of enslaved African peoples singing new songs of freedom.  We recall that we are near where a Native American named Pocahontas was baptized into the Christian faith.

We rejoice that in 1683 the Irish Presbytery of Laggan sent Francis Makemie across the ocean, founding four small mission works near where we are meeting and later a presbytery in Philadelphia to begin our long story of American Presbyterianism.

We remember Old Hanover Presbytery of Virginia and praise God for the hundreds of churches, scores of presbyteries, colleges and seminaries to which she helped over the centuries.

We remember today a long line of godly Virginians; Rev John Chavis and Baptist worthy Lottie Moon. More recently we remember Dr. Nelson Bell and the Honorable Kay James who have served faithfully the risen Christ.

We commend the fine work of Assembly Moderator Ruling Elder Dan Carrell, a Virginian, and our faithful Stated Clerk, Dr Roy Taylor and his efficient staff for their outstanding leadership of the church’s courts.  We give thanks for the constant labors of our PCA Agencies and Committees on behalf of a grateful family of churches. We give praise for our host committee and the many people of James River Presbytery who have cared for our every need, skillfully commissioning new songs of worship and working so diligently to bring our church together.

We go on our way rejoicing with the fruitfulness of so many witnesses, His holy name be praised. We also grieve because our own idols keep us from pursuing our Great Commission. We thank you for sending to this General Assembly the fine preaching of Harry Reeder, Tim Keller and Mike Campbell, who reminded us of our church’s worship, mission, and unity. What a marvelous engine we have under the hood indeed! We depart with the fervent prayer that God the Holy Spirit would put in a double portion of the spirit of Samuel Davies, the Apostle to Virginia, and of the fervent evangelist William E. Hill – men who for the sake of Christ’s Church counted all things but loss.

Commissioners of the 39th General Assembly, here we stand, here we sing, here we rejoice, here we remember, here we give praise and thanksgiving. Here in Virginia Beach we proclaim “Christ for the World.”

TE Henry Lewis Smith (Chairman) Presbytery of Southeast Alabama

RE Melton L. Duncan (Secretary) Presbytery of Calvary

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