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.


Theme

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

Host Committee

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.


Funding

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.


Prayer

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.


Volunteers

About 200 individuals from MOP churches are needed during GA21 week. More information is available in the Volunteer section below.

Location

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.

Downtown and MetroLink safety should not be a concern. See FAQ about crime from Explore STL and information about Metro Transit public safety.

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.

Public Events

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 will occur on:

    • Tuesday:

      • Musical prelude at 6:00pm with MO Presbytery orchestra and vocal ensemble

      • Worship 6:30-8:00pm; Preacher: Outgoing Moderator Mr. Howard Donahoe (Text: Luke 23:32-43; Title: Paradise)

    • Wednesday: Worship at 4:30-6:00pm. Preacher: Rev. Russ Whitfield (Text: Jonah 4:1-11; Title: Truth In Advertising)

    • Thursday:

      • Musical prelude at 7:00pm with Sandra McCracken

      • Worship at 7:30-9:00pm; 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.

Volunteers

Over 100 people from MOP churches are needed to perform various functions.


How do I sign up?

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?

COVID safety Q&A for Volunteers:


What about vaccination?

  1. We strongly encourage all volunteers to be fully vaccinated.

  2. We expect the majority of GA participants to be fully vaccinated.

What are the COVID safety provisions at America's Center?

  1. Following current CDC and STL City guidelines (see in Covid section). Enforced by honor system.

  2. Vaccinated persons need not wear masks or be socially distant.

  3. Unvaccinated persons expected to wear masks and maintain social distance.

  4. No health screening upon entry to the Convention Center.

  5. Meeting rooms enlarged to permit appropriate space between attendees.

  6. Ventilation at America’s Center:

    • Maximized to boost air exchange

    • Filters are hospital grade (Merv13)

    • Restroom air kept inside via negative pressure

Should I be concerned about safety in downtown St. Louis?


Volunteer Orientation:

Get started by seeing the section above about what to expect at the Convention Center. When you arrive, find Family Registration in Hall One to get a name tag and special apron.

Greeters/Guides and Hospitality volunteers will receive 5 documents to carry in their volunteer aprons. These documents are designed to help you quickly answer questions and give directions to attendees at the 2021 General Assembly. Click on these 5 documents below:

  1. FAQ Sheet: This shows many anticipated questions along with answers to those questions.

  2. Map of Convention Center: Use this map to help attendees find their way to meeting rooms within the Convention Center.

  3. Local Service Guide: This quick reference guide is available to all attendees to help them find and get to places to eat.

  4. Schedule for 2021 General Assembly: This overall schedule will be a handy reference to the entire set of events for the week.

  5. Seminar Schedule: Seminars are held three times during week and this reference sheet will help you provide answers about topics, speakers, times, and room numbers.

Please read and familiarize yourself with these documents before you arrive to volunteer at GA. There is no need for you to bring copies for yourself; we will provide them for you upon your arrival.

In addition, you should be familiar with three other resources:

  1. GA website at www.pcaga.org: Skim it to see the vast amount of information already available to attendees. This website displays nicely on smartphones.

  2. Smartphone app for GA: This handy tool contains lots of essential updated information so will be used very much. You should download it and become familiar with its contents. Click here https://pcaga.org/resources/#apps to learn about the app and how to download it.

  3. GA Information Book: All Commissioners and Exhibitors receive a paper copy. A sample will be available for you. You should be familiar with the valuable information shown amidst many pages of GA-sponsor advertising.


Prayer

A liaison has volunteered in each MOP church to recruit and organize prayer “warriors.”

  1. Contact Sue Pitzer by email at suedodsonpitzer@gmail.com to engage with the Prayer Team.

  2. Download a directory of each church’s liaison, set to help engage prayer warriors.

  3. Download a list of prayer requests.

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.

Contact Us

If you have questions or need additional information, you may contact us by emailing info.ga2021stl@gmail.com.