From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
CINCINNATI ORGANIZERS GOING HOG-WILD
05 May 1996 13:08:57
95182 CINCINNATI ORGANIZERS GOING HOG-WILD
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
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 PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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