What does it look like when more than 1,000 Presbyterians come to a city for the biannual General Assembly? How can they make a positive impact on the community where they hold the meeting? How can they “be the church” when gathering for a week?
These are the questions that drove the start of the “Hands and Feet” initiative at the 223rd General Assembly in 2018. Under the leadership of stated clerk J. Herbert Nelson, the assembly in St. Louis became a pilot program in rethinking and recreating the ethos of the gathering by partnering with local churches and organizations to make a positive impact in the host community. Nelson said, “Our test case will be St. Louis, we ought to perfect it by Baltimore [site of the 224th GA in 2020], and by Columbus [site of the 225th GA in 2022] it ought to be old hat.”