Heading to Detroit! By Sarah Colwill, Commissioner, GA221


“Abounding in Hope”…we begin our GA journey with this theme coursing through our veins, as we read up on overtures and recommendations, as we receive hand-written letters from advocacy groups and church-related organizations. The magnitude of the task at hand becomes apparent, as the opening of the Assembly draws nearer and the realization that we may make some major historical decisions for the church becomes a reality.

But personally, this theme, “Abounding in Hope” devolves into a fleeting prayer to the traveling gods that I may somehow, some way, actually leave the Philadelphia airport. The six hours I have spent in the airport so far has given me a snapshot into the lives of many. Different homes, different jobs, different families, different destinations, different origins, but all one commonality: None of us wants to be here. I met a couple who decided to elope yesterday, on their way to Vegas. I met a life-time Atlantian, a recent college grad about to spend the summer on a fishing boat in Alaska, a Lansing native trying to play up the good neighborhoods of Detroit. We are all in transition, headed somewhere, not wanting to be here, fellow sojourners taking our bets as to whether or not we would really get the chance to leave.

As Presbyterians from around the country, and around the globe, congregate in Detroit, we remain in transition, even when we check into our crisp hotel rooms and find our way to our plenary seats. Some of us are changing jobs, some of us are becoming empty nesters, some of us are about to be parents for the first time, some of us are wondering if the best of our years are behind us, some of us are discerning a call to seminary. Still, God calls us together even in the midst of life’s transitions, to breathe a good, clean, holy breath into our lungs, to remind us that there is a call to be the Church even when we are not ourselves experiencing stability. Wish me luck! I’m still at Gate C27.