Stated Clerk's Appreciations

As we conclude this year’s General Assembly, I would like to express my appreciation to a number of people.

First, if you want to thank someone for inviting Bob Roberts to be our Wednesday workshop speaker, you should thank the Church Planting Team. They were the ones who urged me to ask Bob to be with us.

Second, when I spoke about my cell phone exploding in my pocket on Thursday, I apparently used the term “twitters” instead of “tweets.” To the under-40-year-old Teaching Elders, thank you for using Twitter and email to correct me—all 185 of you!

Third, I want to thank and praise God for our moderator. About 15 months ago, I asked Gordon Miller to consider serving a three-year term as moderator. Gordon asked the same question the previous seven moderators asked: “Is there something specific that you have for me to do?” The reason for that question is this: as moderator-elect, your first year is spent listening, asking questions and learning. It can be argued you don’t do anything. That changes in the second year, when you serve as moderator. And in the third year, you serve as the chair of the Committee on Administration.

I replied to Gordon (as I did to his predecessors), “I don’t have anything for you, but the time will come when we will know that God has a task for you and He has chosen you for it.” Is there any question as to the task and the timing? Gordon, for what you did publicly, and especially for what you did in some very difficult meetings behind closed doors, I thank you and praise God for the magnificence of His goodness, provision, and blessing in bringing you to this time and this place.

Fourth, saying a simple “thank you” hardly expresses my feelings about Cedar Springs Church and the efforts you have put forth in hosting this year’s General Assembly. We have said in our planning meetings that it takes 350 volunteers to put this on; more than 500 people signed up from this church to help make this week happen. So even though it is not nearly enough, thank you Cedar Springs.

Fifth, I’m grateful for my colleagues on the General Assembly staff who were in Knoxville this year. They include George Carey, Susan Holland, Phil and Janet Linton, Susan Nash, Barbara Roberts, Brian Smith, Gerri Sutherland, Carol Templin, and Don Voyles. In addition to them, we have an outstanding team that plans and organizes our annual General Assembly—Della Cullins, Sandy Milis, Annette Minard, Patti Moore, and Phil VanValkenburg.

Finally, I want to sincerely thank the person whose growth in workload and responsibility has been proportional to the growth of our Assembly and who invests a staggering number of hours in this event—especially in the weeks leading up to it. The person who puts it all together and makes it happen is Ed McCallum, our Assistant Stated Clerk.