From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 05 May 1996 13:08:57


                    OVER 1995 GENERAL ASSEMBLY 
                          by Julian Shipp 
CINCINNATI--What do flying pigs, a coliseum jammed with thousands of 
worshipers and a summer youth camp have to do with this year's General 
     Plenty, say members of the Cincinnati Committee on Local Arrangements 
(COLA), who are literally going hog-wild over the 207th General Assembly 
(1995), scheduled there July 15-21. 
     According to the Rev. Paul Miller, Cincinnati COLA's promotions and 
local relations chair, flying pigs have a special meaning for Cincinnati. 
Once known as "Porkopolis," Cincinnati was an important hub in the pork 
     Today, the flying pig statues in the city's Bicentennial Commons have 
made them symbolic of the area. Moreover, Miller said, the winged porkers 
tie in well with the creative energy being funneled into the Assembly and 
the state of Ohio motto, "With God all things are possible."  
     "The sort of in-joke around here is, every time we use the word  oink' 
we always say it stands for Ohio, Indiana and Northern Kentucky, which are 
our regional areas," Miller said, adding his committee has also placed 
Assembly logo banners in the airport and throughout the downtown area.  
     An exhibit representing Cincinnati Presbytery will be featured during 
the Assembly. A special activity will also be held Tuesday, July 18, at the 
Moderator's Reception at the old Union Terminal, which also houses the 
Cincinnati Historical Society and the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History 
and Planetarium. 
     Miller said that more than 10 mission tours of urban areas the 
Presbyterian Church is involved in will be held on July 15, 17 and 18. He 
said the tours will also provide insight into the historical significance 
of the work of the church in Cincinnati. 
     With approximately one million Presbyterians within a six-hour drive 
of Cincinnati, organizers are gearing up for what promises to be an awesome 
Assembly opening worship service on Sunday morning, July 16. 
     Pat Brown, a Presbyterian elder and Cincinnati COLA's executive 
coordinator, said all 87 congregations in Cincinnati Presbytery have been 
invited to relocate their regular Sunday worship in order to join 
commissioners, dignitaries, visitors and special guests in "giving thanks, 
singing praises and declaring God's steadfast love." Brown said an 
estimated 15,000 Presbyterians are expected to pack Riverfront Coliseum. 
     "This has never been done before [in the PC (USA)'s corporate history 
as a denomination]," Brown said, adding families are being encouraged to 
bring their children to the service. "It's kind of like a Billy Graham 
revival-sized type of deal. We are looking at [worship] entirely 
differently because we're asking people to dress comfortably and proceed to 
a Presbyterian family picnic on the river following the worship service." 
     Brown said the estimated two-hour service will include a special 
message from Moderator the Rev. Robert Bohl, a parade of banners from all 
participating local churches, a percussion ensemble salute to the "Year 
With Africa," the commissioning of about 60 mission personnel to foreign 
assignments, a 500-person choir and Communion observance. 
     During Communion, Brown said, "wine" will be served from olive wood 
chalices crafted by members of a self-development group outside of 
Palestine and bread will be served from cloth sleeves imported from Africa. 
     "We really are excited about [this worship service]," Brown said. 
"This is the kind of thing that we hope will attract people who were once 
Presbyterians or nonactive Presbyterians, but you don't have to be a member 
of a church -- anybody can come." 
     Another first for the Cincinnati General Assembly will be the 
opportunity for children of commissioners, staff and visitors to enjoy 
Wildwood Christian Education Center while their parents attend meetings. 
The summer camp is located in Milford, Ohio, approximately 20 minutes east 
of downtown Cincinnati. 
     "Our staff is coming down to the convention center to pick the 
children up and meet the parents," said Dody Staker, camp registrar. "We 
will bring them out to our camp and then on Friday, after our closing 
service, we'll bring the children back to the convention center." 
     According to Staker, the center is available for children in grades 
two through nine. In addition to "three hots and a cot" and a Bible study 
titled "The Parables of Jesus," campers will enjoy nature hikes, archery, 
swimming, a talent show, singing and vesper services. 
     Staker said all Wildwood counselors have Christian backgrounds and are 
fingerprinted by the state of Ohio or their respective state of origin. She 
said there are five children for each adult counselor and the staff spend 
12 days in a training session before the camper's arrive. Staker said the 
30-year-old camp is a member of the Presbyterian Camp and Conference 
Associates and fully accredited by the American Camp Association. 
     Cost of the camp is $200 per child and includes a camp photo and 
T-shirt. To register or for more information, call (513) 831-3242 between 
8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. EDT. 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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