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Notes from General Assembly: We're Living History!

July 20, 2012

Some of my PHS colleagues in a photo op we set up at General Assembly to accompany the Living History project

 

Last week I got back to the PHS office after my very first General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). I’ve heard a lot from my coworkers about how non-stop, high-energy, and fun General Assemblies are—and the 220th Assembly didn’t let me down!

My main mission at General Assembly was to connect with Presbyterians from a number of backgrounds and to collect their stories for our Living History project. It was a big week for this project—over the last six months we have interviewed four individuals for four edited videos about their stories of faithful service, and in only four days at GA, we interviewed five more!

Developing the Living History project has been one of the most interesting, exciting, and rewarding parts of my job at PHS (in all the videos you see from this project, I'm the person behind the camera!). We can so easily think of history as an informational relic, as “dead and gone”—but it’s entirely the opposite. Living History is all about how we, as people, live and make history every day. Our interviewees have all been involved in some pretty unique experiences—ones for the history books, you might say—but I think there’s something in each story that we can all relate to, and that’s what makes them so great! By identifying with the experiences and perspectives of others, we connect with one another—and that’s how history brings us together.

I can’t lie—it takes a while to edit video, so edited products will probably come out one by one over the next few months. But I promise they are in the works! Keep checking our website for new material featuring Bruce Reyes-Chow, Rick Ufford-Chase, Susan Andrews (all three former General Assembly Moderators), Scott Anderson (the first openly gay man to be ordained after Amendment 10-A passed), and Vernon Broyles (who was involved in schisms related to the Presbyterian Church in America).

Below check out a previous Living History interview, with former missionary to Taiwan, David Gelzer. Or, click here to see a playlist of all the Living History videos thus far.