Tag Archives: Ohio River

Gee, but it’s good to be back home – in a sense

The Trail has brought me to Pittsburgh for the meeting of the 220th General Assembly (2012) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The PC(USA), as it is known, is my employer.

I lived on Neville Island – seven miles downstream from the Point in Pittsburgh – where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers give birth to the Ohio River – until I was 9 or 10 years old (memory fades). In a sense, this is home.

Here’s what’s up with the Assembly:

The 220th General Assembly (2012) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) began yesterday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Find a variety of ways to follow the business of the General Assembly (the next few days are spent in committees – we are Presbyterian).

The General Assembly consists of commissioners elected by presbyteries. Half of the commissioners will be Ministers of Word and Sacrament, half will be elders. Few will ever have been commissioners to the General Assembly before, but most will have served in one of the other governing bodies of our church: the session, which provides care and oversight of a local congregation; the presbytery, which provides care and oversight of a group of congregations; or the synod which provides care and oversight of several presbyteries.

It reviews the work of synods, resolves controversies in the church, is responsible for matters of common concern for the whole church, and serves as a symbol of unity for the church.

The General Assembly has several specific responsibilities outlined in Chapter 3 of the Book of Order. The assembly seeks to protect our church from errors in faith and practice, is responsible for assuring that the expression of our theology remains true to the biblical standards in our historic confessions. The General Assembly presents a witness for truth and justice in our community and in the world community. It sets priorities for the church and establishes relationships with other churches or ecumenical bodies.

What this does not say is how much of my life this event has consumed and will consume. It is so consuming that it will likely slow down my blogging some.

See you around the Trail.

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Water moved

As a child growing up on Front River Road on Neville Island, I used to watch the boats in the Ohio River. I only had to pass through my front door and walk across the lawn before I would arrive near the banks of the Ohio. There I would ponder the river and and wonder who was in the boat, where they were going and where they had been and why.
Barges would pass by the island carrying I knew not what. My lack of knowledge made it easy to invent tales of daring and adventure.  
The water of the Ohio moved. And much moved with it: floating branches, fish, waterfowl, ice in spring, and commerce. Recreational boats used the water. It carried pollution visible and invisible. 
The river had power to transport and destructive power as well. It flooded. It claimed life, not often, but it did happen.
Living in Louisville as an adult brought me back to the Ohio. While I did not spend the time on its banks as I did when a child, I experienced comfort and joy knowing the river flowed near my home.
I have returned to Neville Island a couple of times. While much has changed both in reality and from my childhood memories, the Ohio River with its power, grace, and mystery remains.

14 August 2011
Cincinnati, Ohio

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