Greg and I are planning on going to General Assembly. We won't be commissioners, but we enjoy being a part of the process. We enjoy seeing old friends and colleagues. We enjoy the conversations, worship, discussions that can only happen at GA. We enjoy being a part of the connectional church. As part of our trip planning, I went on the pcusa.org website to see about childcare at GA since we have two young kids. This is what it said, "Parents are encouraged to carefully consider whether to bring their children to the assembly. Consider arrangements with family or your usual child-care providers."
I was irate and also close to tears as I read this. This assumes all people wishing to attend have family or regular child-care providers who could provide this kind of long term care. I also read, "Your children are not wanted. If you have children, it is not important you attend. This is a meeting for those over 50."
I do not believe that it would be difficult to offer some form of child care at General Assembly. Other conferences do it all the time. I do believe that what this says about our denomination is that we say we want young people but our actions tell the truth. We do not actually value them or their participation in the process of being church.
I emailed Thomas Hay, Director of General Assembly Meeting Service, two weeks ago expressing my concern about no childcare at General Assembly. I have not received a response.
Whether you have young children or not, whether you are planning to attend General Assembly or not, if you believe that General Assembly should attempt to provide some type of childcare to allow those with young children to attend, would you email Thomas Hay at firstname.lastname@example.org?
I want to be a denomination that welcomes younger adults at all levels of discussion. Don't you?