General Assembly 2021
General Assembly Defined
What is it?
General Assembly (GA) is the annual business meeting of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Over 2000 attend as the denomination’s pastors (Teaching Elders) and other church leaders (Ruling Elders) gather to study, discuss, debate, and decide biblical and ministry issues. Visitors are welcome to observe the proceedings and may sit in the visitor’s section of the Assembly Hall.
Why is GA important?
GA achieves several significant purposes: Adore God in worship; Boost our shared mission and values; Collaborate with colleagues; Decide on direction and issues; Equip for life and ministry; Fellowship with each other; and Globalize our vision.
Who makes GA happen?
Arrangements for GA require an 18-month joint effort between the national PCA Administrative Committee (AC) office staff in Atlanta and the local Presbytery that hosts the Assembly. Here is a recent article about the Behind the Scenes - Often Overlooked Facts about GA.
Our theme for GA21 is Proclaiming the Unhindered Kingdom based on Acts 28:30-31. We also draw inspiration and quotes from the hymn, “The Church’s One Foundation.” Providentially, our theme was selected long before the COVID pandemic profoundly affected the Church’s methods of building God’s Kingdom. Throughout the ages, Christ has grown His Church “mid toil and tribulation.” The Holy Spirit has overcome both external and internal hindrances to proclaim the Gospel to the “elect from every nation.” As stewards of this Good News in this divided age, we proclaim Christ’s power to advance His Kingdom unhindered. We declare to a confused and fractured world that Christ shall never let his Church perish, but in unity affirm “one Lord, one faith, one birth.”
Role of Missouri Presbytery
This is the primary organization handling our 2021 General Assembly (GA21) duties. A Core Team was established in the fall of 2019 to achieve several goals: Organize the Host Committee; establish an overall budget; create a fund-raising plan; select the GA21 theme; and approve a master action plan. The Host Committee organization chart and directory is available here. Each Subcommittee Chair is a manager, charged to recruit a team and then organize and oversee their work; develop a program that fits into the master GA21 schedule; prepare and spend their budget; and obtain and oversee volunteers.
Missouri Presbytery (MOP) is responsible to fund the activities and programs of the Host Committee. Each church in MOP is expected to provide financial support at the level of 0.25% of their operating budget. When fully supported, this would total about $35,000 which supplements income from offerings and program fees. Contact Treasurer Randy Stone for more information or to contribute.
Over 100 people in MOP churches are part of the GA21 Prayer Team. To learn more about this endeavor, refer to the Prayer section below.
About 200 time slots need to be filled by individuals from MOP churches during GA21 week. More information is available in the Volunteer section below.
GA21 will be held at the downtown Convention Center located at 701 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101. For volunteers, the most convenient parking location is at 419 N. 9th Street, 63101, costing $1/hour (maximum $10 for 12 hours and $16 all day). Other parking is shown at this link: Explore STL Parking Map & Info. Local guests and volunteers should use the main semi-circle entrance on Washington Avenue at the north end of N. 8th Street. Some may want to park remotely and ride the MetroLink to its America's Center station.
National GA Information
The PCA website at https://pcaga.org/ contains information on how Commissioners register, the schedule, overtures, worship, women’s and NextGen events, seminars, visitors’ check-in, and the smartphone app. 2,100 Commissioners (Pastors and Ruling Elders) will be here for the largest-ever PCA General Assembly.
Visitors are welcome to join in worship, attend a seminar or women’s program, visit the exhibit hall, or observe the business proceedings from the visitor’s section. There is no charge except for the women’s luncheon. When seating capacity is limited, registered commissioners and their families will have priority. Except for worship attendance, all visitors must check-in at the registration booth, pay applicable fees, and obtain a visitor’s name badge. Click here for COVID safety details.
Corporate worship with 3,000-4,000 present will occur on:
Musical prelude at 6:00pm with MO Presbytery orchestra and vocal ensemble led by Virginia McGuigan, Worship Director at Twin Oaks Presbyterian Church.
Worship 6:30-8:00pm; Liturgist: Thurman Williams. Communion: Tim LeCroy. Preacher: Outgoing Moderator Mr. Howard Donahoe (Text: Luke 23:32-43; Title: Heaven).
Wednesday: Worship at 4:30-6:00pm.
Music: Modern hymnody led by Nick Dahlquist, Worship Director at Chesterfield Presbyterian Church.
Liturgist: Ben Porter. Preacher: Rev. Russ Whitfield (Text: Jonah 4:1-11; Title: Truth In Advertising).
Musical prelude at 7:00pm with Sandra McCracken (Native to St. Louis, attending local PCA churches and Westminster Christian Academy)
Worship at 7:30-9:00pm: Liturgist: Daniel Song. Pastoral prayer: Jerram Barrs. Preacher: Rev. Abraham Cho (Text: 2 Corinthians 2:14-3:5; Title: The Spiritual Power of Weakness)
Women’s Luncheon on Wednesday June 30 at 11:00am-1:00pm. Speaker is Megan Hill (click here for bio info) speaking on her new book, Partners in the Gospel. Special music by Sherdonna Denholm. Registration is required on a space-available basis: $40 on-site tickets (space is currently available).
Seminars on many helpful topics in 1-2 hour segments on Tuesday afternoon plus Wednesday and Thursday mornings.
Over 100 people from MOP churches are needed to perform various functions.
Click www.signup.com/go/GA2021STL to find and reserve your spot.
Already Volunteered? See Orientation below.
Why should i serve in this way?
Grow vision by participating in the global PCA movement. Experience fellowship by connecting and cooperating with others from nearby “sister” PCA churches. Faithfully serve by assisting and supporting the PCA and pastors’ families
When do you need me?
Mostly from Tuesday June 29 – Thursday July 1. Shifts are available for mostly partial-day and some whole-day roles.
What could/would i do?
Greeters & guides, family registration assistant, women's lunch hostess, transportation liaison, worship communion support, prayer room host.
What should I expect at the Convention Center?
What are the COVID safety provisions at America's Center?
COVID-19 Information and GA Timing
Public health guidelines in St. Louis may affect the timing of GA. Click websites below to get most recent status from local and PCA authorities.
Communications from the PCA: Click here for a chronological sequence of messages about Covid's impact on the General Assembly
As of February 25, 2021: https://byfaithonline.com/stated-clerk-pro-tempore-issues-statement-on-general-assembly-dates/
As of March 31, 2021: Email from the PCA Stated Clerk about June GA timing
As of April 20, 2021: Final announcement from PCA Stated Clerk about June GA timing
STL County: https://stlcorona.com/
St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission (Explore STL): https://explorestlouis.com/covid-19/
April 2021 - Host Committee Update to MO Presbytery