At the July 14-15 meeting of Cascades Presbytery in Medford, our own June Carlson was elected moderator of the presbytery for 2016-2017.  Following that year she will chair the Presbytery Leadership Committee.

June brings many skills to this position as she spent many years with the Oregon Department of Transportation facilitating communication between agencies, communities, politicians, and individuals.

Our presbytery is going through significant change with a staff realignment and June will be an important leader facilitating communication through this process of change and inviting the churches of the presbytery to embrace the change with courage and vitality.

June was instrumental in approving the Matthew 25 overture submitted by Cascades Presbytery at the General Assembly.  She was the Overture Advocate and organized the other speakers to make a powerful presentation.    The overture that was overwhelmingly approved encourages the denomination to listen to a variety of voices and act with diligence and timeliness on issues of social justice.

Kathleen Huddleston was the lone Overture Advocate speaking for the Clergy Letter Project Overture promoting the teaching of solid science in our public schools, especially the “foundational truth” of evolutionary theory.    Both the Clergy Letter Project and the Matthew 25 overture originated were brought to the presbytery by Southminster’s session.

A huge thank you to all who volunteered with the General Assembly.   We had several members of our choir participate in the mass choir for worship and many others who helped people find where they needed to go!    We also had a fantastic vegetarian potluck for commissioners who visited Southminster on the first Sunday of the Assembly.

We also had an enriching interfaith experience on our own back lawn.  Several students connected with the Islamic Center of Portland organized an Open Iftar or breaking of the fast for three nights during Ramadan.  Over 200 people attended the three evenings and enjoyed food, conversation and prayer.

You can find out more about all these events on my blog www.shuckandjive.org and at the Office of the General Assembly website http://oga.pcusa.org/section/ga/222nd-general-assembly-2016/ganews/