That Time I Met the One Non-PCUSA Person On the Planet Who Knows What a GA Moderator Is

It happened in an independent coffee shop two blocks from my office in Chicago.  I noticed that all the barristas were new.

Me:  Are all of you new?card

Barrista:  Yeah, there are new owners.  Same coffee.  New owners.

Me:  I love your coffee.  Nice to meet you.  (Even though we hadn’t exactly met.)

Barrista:  Do you work around here?

Me:  Yes, the Rice Building, where the Giordano’s is.

Barrista:  What do you do?

This is the moment when I have several options, as I assume that no one has any idea what a Presbytery is.  I could say that I work for a non-profit.  I could say that I work for a church office.  Or I could go for it and say “I work for The Presbytery of Chicago.

Me:  I work for the Presbytery of Chicago.

Barrista:  Is that PCA or PCUSA?

Me (in my head):  What???!!!

Me (out loud):  Seriously?  You know the difference?

Barrista:  Of course I do.

Me (in my head):  This guy is a total dork.

Me (out loud):  Look at me.  What do you think?  PCA or PCUSA?

[Note: If you are not a church dork yourself, the Presbyterian Church in America does not ordain people with female parts.]

Barrista:  You could be a secretary.

Me:  Yes, I could.  

And then I said something I never thought I would ever say out loud in my entire life because 1) I still can’t believe this happened and 2) there are very few people on the planet who care.

Me:  Actually, I’m an ordained pastor.  And I’m one of the co-moderators of the 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA.

Barrista:  No @*!t?

Me:  It’s true. I even have a card.

Barrista:  I’m PCA.  My name’s T___.

Me:  Hi.  I’m Jan.

Then we talked about our sameness and our different-ness.  And he makes an excellent mocha.  As AAM says, “Every day’s a school day.”



Image is the Spanish and Korean side of my GA card.  I would have shown the English side but I don’t need that many phone calls.

One response to “That Time I Met the One Non-PCUSA Person On the Planet Who Knows What a GA Moderator Is

  1. Oh, how I love this one! Who learned more at school that day?


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