G.A. 2020 was held virtually this year on Zoom in June. The theme was ‘Lament to Action’. The Assembly called the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to focus on justice, working to respond to what some referred to as the ‘two pandemics’ of COVID-19 and racial injustice.
The assembly elected Elona Street-Stewart, an Indigenous ruling elder, and Rev. Gregory Bentley, a Black minister, as Co-Moderators. Street-Stewart is synod executive of the Synod
of Lakes and Prairies and, as a member of the Delaware Nanticoke tribe, an assembly’s first
Native American co-moderator. Bentley is pastor of Fellowship Presbyterian Church in
Huntsville, Alabama. Together they will lead the church until the 225th Assembly in 2022.
The assembly approved a resolution called “Responding to the Sin of Racism and a Call to Action” — declaring that Black lives matter; confessing that the church has been complicit in perpetuating injustice; and pledging to “confront and dismantle systemic racism” in the church and in society. The assembly considered the needs of the church during the COVID-19 pandemic, approved a unified budget, and moved to meet the needs of Native American churches (Eastern OK Presbytery has a majority of these congregations).
The virtual meeting meant that less committee business was taken up by this Assembly, and many items were referred to the 2022 Assembly. The meeting ended with prayer and repentance, with 8 minutes and 46 seconds in silent corporate lament — the time that Minneapolis police office Derek Chauvin knelt pressing on the neck of George Floyd.