My Cup Runs Over

The 2024 General Church Assembly concluded this past Sunday. I was lucky enough to attend and, reflecting now on all the blessings of those few days, the scripture that comes to mind is “My cup runs over” (Psalm 23:5). There was far more to experience than my mind and heart could hold — so many thoughts to consider, so many thoughts to share, so many affections stirred, so many dear people to connect with. I underestimated how powerful it would be to assemble with other people of all ages who share a love for the Lord and the New Church. There were people meeting for the first time and people meeting again for the first time in decades. And there were people who have spent hours together in online groups who got to meet and hug in person for the first time. As we gathered, we were blessed because we came.

If you were not able to be part of the assembly this year, I am also thinking of you. I know how hard it can be to miss out on something that other people got to experience. Even while attending a given workshop at the assembly, I had to resist the feeling that I was missing out when I could hear applause coming from another workshop that I wasn’t attending. The realities of time and space meant that I (and each assembly attendee) was only able to experience a small fraction of all that was experienced by people at the assembly. I am grateful that efforts were made to record as much of the assembly as possible and that those recordings will be made available at some point. Even though it won’t be the same as being there, those recordings will give me (and anyone who wants to) the chance to go back and experience a taste of the abundance that was on offer. But what will be even more important than watching the recordings will be the conversations that happen between people about the assembly — between people who attended and people who did not, but also between people who were at the same workshop but had very different reactions to it.

Another scripture that comes to mind for me is “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38). The assembly organizers, paid staff, volunteers, workshop presenters, and attendees all gave generously of themselves, and I hope experienced being given to as well. My prayer is that this generous spirit can persist as assembly attendees and non-attendees individually and collectively rest, process, discuss, and reflect on everything that the 2024 General Church Assembly was.