Friday, June 15, 2007

Blogging GA, day five: final thoughts

I came today from the PCA's General Assembly, riding home with the staff from Covenant Seminary who had gone to GA to work the exhibition booth. We had a safe trip home, stopping in Sikeston, MO at Lambert's Cafe for some "throwed rolls." The guys I rode with were great traveling companions, and I feel like I came away with new friends.

I was talking with one of my former classmates about the expense of General Assembly, and I realized what a bargain trip it had been for me:

Ride down with my Pastor: $0 (though I will give them something for gas)
Riding the bus to and from my housing (10 trips @$1.50 each): $15
Riding home with the seminary staff: $0
Housing at University of Memphis (4 nights @$32 per night): $135, including tax
Meals (minus three meals provided by others, and breakfasts-- I took granola bars with me): $70
Books and gifts: $40
Total cost of my GA Trip: $260

Riding with others and taking the bus saved me tons-- with gas at $3+ per gallon, and parking in downtown Memphis at $6-8 per day, I probably saved more than $100 on transportation. Housing was similar: the total cost of my housing was less than one night at the hotel adjoining the convention center.

What is more, all of these expenses are tax-deductible, since they are directly related to my job search. All of that is to say that it shouldn't be too hard for a seminarian to get to GA to make the connections they will need for candidacy.

One closing thought about General Assembly: on the last night, I was sitting toward the middle of the assembly for worship. As I stood there during one of the hymns, I stopped singing and listened: over 2000 people, almost all of whom are Ruling Elders, Teaching Elders, or their families, singing in worship together-- it was a moving sound.

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