You will eventually be confronted by people who are disillusioned and/or angry about their perceived direction of the church as you interpret recent actions from the General Assembly. Some will write things that will be totally different from your experience although you were both at the same event. There will also be people who are praying and discerning whether to stay in this denomination. Remember when you are confronted by the hard questions and directed anger that it is not about you personally but what and who you represent as a leader in the denomination. Continue to be pastoral and show them the love and grace of God - even when this is difficult.
I would strongly encourage you to connect with people through social media/network means. We live in a technological and electronic age in which many people rely exclusively as a means to communicate with others. I cannot tell you the number of people who do not go to an established church but do follow the PCUSA virtually. Many of them are children of congregants whose parents will tell you "my son no longer goes to church but follows you on Facebook" or "my daughter reads your blog all the time." Some are pastors and church workers who want to form an alternative community for their voice to be heard. And some yet are either no longer in the church or agnostic/atheists who somehow want to be in conversation. And these are people you may or may not have known or heard of but they still strive to have some connection to a community of faith. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, a blog or an occasional email let people know what you are doing as you tell the story and be in conversation.
Be thankful and show appreciation for those who work at the Presbyterian Center at 100 Witherspoon Street. They often find themselves in a difficult situation in changing times and unfortunately too many label the people who work there as "them." From Linda Valentine (GAMC) and Gradye Parsons (OGA) down to the Administrative Assistants and even those who maintain and clean the place, make sure you thank them and show appreciation for their work because they do a wonderful job and great service to keep everything together.
Last of all - spend time with the people. Wherever you go people will want to talk to you. They will want you to tell them your hopes for our church and they want to share their hopes and dreams about the denomination and local ministry setting. They will want to take you out to dinner after a long day of meetings, invite you into their homes after you preach or take you out on the town when you have a few free hours. You will hear opinions from those who are dyed-in-the-wool Presbyterians and those who have recently joined a Presbyterian Church. They will represent the diversity of our denomination. Spend time with them. Listen to them and their stories. Pray for them. Be a ministry of presence.
As you enter into this exciting time in preparation of the election of the Moderator on July 3, may God continue to lead and guide you. My prayer will be that God will use you to bring glory to God and be a witness to the ministry and mission of our denomination as the Vice Moderator of the 219th (2010) General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Rev. Dr. Byron A. Wade, Vice-Moderator of the 218th (2008) General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)