Postponing the 2021 General Assembly means that…
The Church of the Nazarene will save money. General Assemblies (GA) are not cheap. Bringing in delegates (not all international delegates pay their own way here— the World Evangelism Fund does) is an expensive endeavor. In the last several General Assemblies there have been resolutions (supported by most if not all of General Superintendents) to move GA to every five years– mostly as a cost saving measure. The pandemic has accomplished what a vote on the assembly floor could not.
More international delegates will be able to attend in 2023 than if the GA were next year. GAs are worthless if half the delegates or more cannot get VISA’s to travel into the US. (Which begs the question, “Can’t we find a more internationally welcoming place where all the delegates can attend?” If WEF dollars are picking up the tab on their travel and room and board anyway, isn’t there another venue that we could have greater participation from ALL of our delegates?)
Dr. Graves gets two less years to serve on the BGS. I love Dr. Graves. I will miss his leadership. We will be voting on two General Superintendents in 2023 (Dr. Duarte is also retiring, I’ll miss him too).
Having GA and NYC in the same year will create some cost and logistic issues for parents and churches. Will NYC be changed to a different year? If so, will some students miss out on attending an NYC? If so, that is really too bad. NYC has done more good in the CotN than we realize. We need to continue to prioritize our youth and families if we are going to be the church we need to be in the 21st century. The GA move to 2023 probably means M-23 (if there was going to be an M-23) is also DOA.
Nazarenes can’t drink for two more years. if you believe that the ban on social drinking will be lifted in 2023, you’ll need to wait. I know, I’m stirring the pot now… forgive me. (FYI… I will not be in favor of such a move—I’ve written on that subject in the past. You can read it https://robprinceblog.com/2019/05/13/will-the-church-of-the-nazarene-split-over-social-drinking/).
Our statement on racism can’t be strengthened for two more years too (yes, it needs to be strengthened!). There are other needed resolutions that will also have to wait. UGH!
And most of all, postponing our 2021 General Assembly means we won’t get to see so many of our friends from far and wide for two long years. We are a family and we need to be together.
Our leaders did the right thing in postponing the 2021 General Assembly, now let all of us who love the Church of the Nazarene do the right thing and pray for our leaders as they give prayerful guidance during these strange and curious days!
Rob- as always, well-written and on point… one caveat to having assembly in another country-from experience hosting General Board in the Netherlands, there isn’t an easy place- every country has immigration and visa requirements that may be easier for a few countries, but that is often offset by their restrictions and refusal of visas to other countries. There always seems to be large blocks of countries that will not have access, or where the process and cost become prohibitive. It is something that has been and continues to be researched- hoping to find that sweet spot. In addition, having a global gathering in the country of our global h.q. does give us some pull we will not have in other countries. So much to consider- but worth figuring out.
And We miss seeing you guys too!
Curious to see what the BGS came up with when the referred the ‘Booze Resolution’ to the BGS. If in any form we change our current stance I am gone. Goodbye COTN. One change that will happen is I can see District Assembly going to every other year as it has been kicked around before.
As one who has dealt for over 30 years with the effects of alcohol on the individual and family I cannot express enough the appreciation I have for a church that is willing to stand in the gap with the addict. It is not in any way advancing the Kingdom to change our social testimony. Thanks Rob for standing.