Note: Over the next few days, Pastor Jeff is attending the UCC's General Synod, the denomination's biennial national gathering, in Baltimore. He'll be sharing reflections on his experience.
First off, I acknowledge that these posts probably won't be as interesting as Michael's stories about visiting Israel. But it's been my experience that it's helpful to share what happens at our denomination's national event (which often seems like this weird thing that happens in some far-off place) so that local UCC members can be informed of what the larger church they're a part of is up to.
Today was the first day, and for the most part there wasn't as much that happened. The committees that later will discuss various resolutions (pieces of proposed church legislation that will be voted on by the delegates) met this morning to be educated about their assigned issues. If you'd like to read up on what's being discussed this year, visit this link to see the full list. I'll probably share more about what's being discussed when it gets to the vote process.
Since I'm a visitor and not a delegate assigned to a committee, my day began a little after noon with worship with the UCC 2030 Clergy Network, a national network of clergy under 40 meant to provide mutual support. Mary Luti and Emily C. Heath, whom some may recognize from the daily email devotionals, led this for us.
After that was opening worship for the entire Synod, followed by the first plenary session which largely consisted of incredibly exciting items such as declaring a quorum, adopting the agenda, and introduction of moderators.
This first evening, the committees will re-gather to begin discussing their resolutions and debating changes and amendments before finalizing them to be brought to the floor for a vote. This process will continue for another day or two before that happens.
So today, as it tends to be, was less eventful than future days will be. But I'll do my best to share what is happening so that those who read can get a better sense of what goes on in our wider denominational life.