Co-Moderators of the 224th General Assembly (2020)
Elona Street-Stewart (left) and Gregory Bentley (right) 
—Photo by Rich Copley

Strange times haven’t put a damper on the enthusiasm and collaborative spirit that Elona Street-Stewart and Gregory Bentley have for serving the PC(USA) as co-moderators of the 224th General Assembly (2020).

Their inability to travel has not stopped the pair from engaging with Presbyterians in 15 states during virtual events and visits and visits in 16 synods and 23 presbyteries. They believe technology has actually broadened their reach and been an advantage for how they want to connect and participate.

“We don’t want to be on exhibit,” said Street-Stewart. “We really want to say, “actually we’re here to learn more along with you, where are you engaged.”

Street-Stewart, who will be the keynote speaker during the September 18, 2021 Stated Meeting Presbytery of Lake Michigan, and Bentley reflected on their first year as co-moderators in an article published online June 29, 2021 by Pam Wineman.

The Co-Moderators are particularly committed to Matthew 25 and its call for the PC(USA) to focus on congregational vitality and being a church of action.

The article explains how the pair selected the symbol of Sankofa to represent their heritages and their ministry as co-moderators.

Bentley explained the bird is “flying forward while looking back with an egg in her mouth, which symbolizes going back, as a communion, and fetching the stuff that can be good medicine to bring healing in the body right now.”

The article also touches on how the pair is mindful of the devastating impact the pandemic has had.

“We’re figuring out new ways to express our hospitality,” said Street-Street. “And the discernment is to say, ‘God, we’re hearing and we’re listening to what you’re providing for us. Let’s take this now and move it like the Sankofa bird and carry this to the future’.”  

The co-moderators host a live program, “Good Medicine,” at 2 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month. Visit the 224th General Assembly Moderators page on Facebook for more information.