|Not Jim Wert, but close...|
The 43rd General Assembly has the makings of one of our irenic years. Though who knows where the seemingly innocuous overtures and resolutions will actually go, there is nothing of the weight of past debates on creation, Federal Vision, insider movements or the like. Overture 7 proposes removing a minister’s right to not testify against himself in judicial cases (more on that in a separate post) and Ligon Duncan submitted a personal resolution expressing corporate repentance for the involvement of Southern Presbyterianism in modern racism and opposition to the civil rights movement. Both of those might generate some heat on the floor, but it’s hard to imagine the Assembly spending a great deal of time on either one. We might finish early.
In opening business last night, the Assembly elected Jim Wert, a prominent Atlanta Ruling Elder, moderator for the Assembly. Teaching Elder Joe Novenson nominated Jim with some of the strangest arguments in my memory. Among the usual long list of abilities, service, and character qualities, Joe cited the fact that Jim and his wife are known for dressing up as Samwise and Rosie Gamgee. I kid you not. In his acceptance speech he quoted Bilbo freely, “I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
The other bit of excitement was the total fail of the electronic voting system. Each commissioner received a calculator like device with his name badge. Instead of waving cards, we are supposed to push buttons to record our votes. Only about half appeared to work and the assembly devolved into an old-time hymn sing while the clerk printed off 1300+ paper ballots. It is likely they will get the system operational today, but it might be a good idea for me to find my card.