Yesterday (Tuesday, June 17th) we wrapped up our committee business. We spent all day going over and over information, but didn't really get anywhere so it was extremely frustrating.
During the morning session, we heard presentations about the overture on divesting from fossil fuel companies. As the presentations progressed, I got increasingly more and more frustrated with the lack of relevant information to the overture. The presenters brought in pictures of their children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren and talked about how they wanted to save the Earth for them. Don't get me wrong, I want to save the environment for myself and my future family, but I knew all of that already. As a committee member, I wanted information about the ramifications or the benefits of divesting from the fossil fuel companies.
I've never been much of a detail oriented person, so spending all of this time going through procedure to amend these teensy details really frustrated me. Ultimately, we voted to refer the overture to the office of Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) whose job it is to work on issues of investment. However, many of the committee members wanted to add a comment saying how concerned we are with this issue and how we really want progress to be made as soon as possible.
A couple people suggested that the comment be taken from references in the overture. What they didn't realize is that the comment was EXACTLY the same as the main paragraph of the overture. The comment was a group's edit of the original overture. That probably didn't make sense, so let me explain what it would have looked like if this motion had been passed. You have an appeal, but then attached to the bottom of the appeal is a comment to clarify the appeal. Instead of the comment clarifying anything, the comment is the first paragraph of the main appeal. That makes no sense. So, after spending a lot of time discussing that comment, we used one that a committee member wrote.
I really enjoy editing and writing, but I don't like going around in circles to do it. I'd like to be quick and efficient about it. I think that's what frustrated me. We spent 45 minutes or so just arguing over one motion, just to vote it down. This happens in all committees. I suppose I'll have to get used to it though. I've got several more days of this in plenary.
Speaking of editing and writing, this morning I attended a breakfast sponsored by the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. Staff members presented about the new Presbyterian hymnal and informed us about the various offices within the corporation. I enjoyed the presentation, but I enjoyed even more meeting the staff members after the formal presentation and finding out how they joined staff. Each person has a different story and skill set, which gives me hope for potentially applying for a job there in the future.
I'll post a separate blog post either later tonight or tomorrow about recovening for plenary.