We are quickly coming up on the United Church of Christ’s Synod in Baltimore, Md. which begins this Friday, June 30th and runs through July 4th. Thousands from across the country – both lay and authorized ministers from every Conference as well as the National setting - will gather for General Synod 31. Together we will undertake a wide variety of business, including resolutions of witness, church structure, and function. Every Synod invites those present to stand up and consider issues that demand our faithful witness. We will also come together many times in exciting and dynamic worship throughout Synod.
Your Interim Conference Minister will drive to Baltimore on Thursday, June 29th – attending a meeting with all of the Conference Ministers from across the UCC on Friday morning. All the Conference Ministers will then join in with our delegations for opening worship at 2:30 pm Friday afternoon.
Our Rhode Island delegation includes four voting delegates: Rev. Cleo Graham, Wayne Gage, Pat Safstrom, and Alyssa Browning-Gray (a new Member in Discernment). Our new Conference President, Frances Munro, and your Interim Conference Minister will attend as non-voting members. In addition, Linda Hartley, a Member in Discernment from the Newman Congregational Church, will also gather with us.
In addition, we have 10 Youth attending Youth at Synod with our Christian Education and Youth Ministry consultant, Kristin Putney, and a number of wonderful adult chaperones. As always every two years, we have an unofficial delegation of “Synod groupies” who just love attending these events and who will be in attendance to watch and pray with us.
Please note that when we gather to do business at Synod (called plenaries), each plenary session will be livestreamed from the national website at synod.uccpages.org, beginning at 2:15 PM EDT on June 30. More details about the schedule also appear at the national website. You may also view all of the resolutions that will come before the gathered body go to synod.uccpages.org and click on Materials) and if you watch the plenaries you will see and hear dialogue and debate as we each discern how to vote.
These are always full and intense days; we will talk and discern together where we believe the Holy Spirit is leading us. Our Associate Conference Minister for Communications (who we share with the CT and MA Conference), Tiffany Vail, will also attend and will be posting updates, articles, blogs, and pictures throughout Synod. Please hold us all in prayer, both as we travel and as we attend to the business of Synod in Baltimore in the coming days.
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