General Synod

#UCCGS: W.P.W. Three Great Loves & A Just World for All

John White


W.P.W. is my sermon title for my first Sunday back in the pulpit following General Synod 2017, the biennial meeting of the entire United Church of Christ (UCC). Can you guess what it means? Take a minute. Give up?

United Church of Christ Declares a New Moral Era

James Antal


It was a big claim: “Imperatives for a New Moral Era.”    It was a big ask: to “resist all expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure and demand new sources of renewable energy that are accessible to all communities” and to write a new story for America – “a story that is not dependent on fossil fuel or on wealth for the few and misery for the many.”   It demands that the church itself “bear witness.”  Unlike so many resolutions passed at Church gatherings, instead of criticizing the injustice of ...

#UCCGS: Synod as Discipleship

Amelia Nugent


Over the course of the past week I have fallen in love with the United Church of Christ all over again. Watching the church, in all our multiple, beautiful, sometimes contentious contexts, worship, sing, pray and work together to discern our outward priorities for the next two years reminded me why this church is my home. Our commitment to be united in Christ binds us to one another, even when we don’t agree. I do not like all of the decisions we came to this week, and I know I am not the only ...

#UCCGS: We Try SO Hard. We Still Make Mistakes

Tiffany Vail


I don't often write blog posts about my personal experiences. In the 20 years I've been doing Conference communication work, I've put most of my energy into telling the stories of others, or empowering them to tell their own stories. But I am on the train returning from my first United Church of Christ General Synod, and I feel the need to share my own perspective. What struck me the most at Synod was how hard everyone tries to live out what it means to be a multicultural, ...

#UCCGS: Contemplation and Action in the United Church of Christ

Matthew Carriker


I grew up in the United Church of Christ (UCC), and was confirmed as a UCC youth in the First Congregational Church of Natick, MA. One might find it surprising then that in my younger years, I didn’t know what the UCC was.  I just knew that my home church was a “Congregational” Church.  I guess I didn’t pay close enough attention in confirmation class.   It wasn’t until seminary that I became familiar with the history, theology, and polity of the UCC.  And I was proud!  I was proud of the social...

#UCCGS: The Colors of Synod

Marisa Brown-Ludwig


As I arrived here at the Baltimore Convention Center on June 30th, I realized I’d started breathing more deeply. I was more relaxed. I felt like myself in a deeper way. It took me a full day to realize what it was – I had landed in a wonderfully diverse city, at a church gathering with people from many cultures and languages. Since moving up to Western Massachusetts, I have missed living and working amidst an urban mix of peoples, and so I felt relief at being back in a major city where more of ...

#UCCGS: What good does a resolution do, or, so what?

Mark Longhurst


Here’s my confession: the impressive lineup of Synod speakers inspired me much more than the resolutions. Yet most of the duties of a General Synod delegate include deliberating and voting on resolutions. Some this year’s fifteen resolutions are governance related, but most are issues-based. And the issues represented truly span the gamut, from supporting adult survivors of child abuse to ending the US embargo on Cuba.   As a first-year delegate to Synod, I have the opportunity to ask some basic...

#UCCGS: My Heart Just Broke Open


Every once in a while, there are precious moments, extraordinary and oh, so holy, when God breaks in to our hearts so fully that we can hold nothing else at all.

#UCCGS: A Contemplative Progressive Navigates General Synod 2017

Mark Longhurst


Thank God that the United Church of Christ is a progressive church with ears tuned, hearts aligned, and feet marching in today’s social justice movements. It’s the reason I fell in love with the UCC and am blessed to call it an ecclesial home; at the same time, I nourish my soul’s spiritual home in contemplative and mystical streams of spirituality. Which begs the question: what is a contemplative to do at General Synod?   First the inspiring: Friday night the Rev. Traci Blackmon, the freshly ...

Are We Over the Rainbow Yet?

Kathie Carpenter


The U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming marriage equality came down on June 26, 2015.  It was approaching twelve years since the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling of ‘03, providing the first-ever marriage equality state by 2004.  At the 25th Synod in Atlanta in 2005, the UCC adopted the marriage equality resolution, the first of any Protestant denomination in the U.S.    A little after 10 AM Eastern time, there was a low bustle in the Cleveland Convention Center hallway.  People were slowly ...

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Dawn Adams

John Allen

James Antal

Steven Aucella

Andrea Ayvazian

Kazimierz Bem

Margaret Bendroth

Rachel Bickford

Marisa Brown-Ludwig

Margaret Bullitt-Jonas

Sarah Buteux

Alison Buttrick Patton

Matthew Carriker

Bart Cochran

June Cooper

Lucy Costa

Brendan Curran

Barbara Darling

Joanne Dickey

Rev. Rob Donaldson

Matthew Emery

Robert Everett

Justine Fisler

Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager

Michael Frady

Kelly Gallagher

Marlene Gasdia-Cochrane

Thomas Gerstenlauer

Debbie Gline Allen

Martha Goodman

Cleo Graham

Sir John Hargrave

TJ Harper

Myriam Hernandez Jennings

John Hudson

Elena Huegel

Vicki Kemper

Debbie Kolacki

Louellyn Lambros

Rosemary Lamie

Kate Layzer

Amy Lignitz Harken

Mark Longhurst

Estelle Margarones

Elsa Marshall

Keith Marzilli Ericson

Debi Mastroni-Kenyon

Jessica McArdle

Fred Meade

Karen Methot

Kimberly Murphy

Liza Neal

Jonathan New

Brenda Nolan

Amelia Nugent

The Parish Paper

Lindsay Popper

Judith Raymond

Donald Remick

Ellie Richardson

Rev. Valeria Schmidt

Timoth Sylvia

Sally Tomasetti

Tiffany Vail

Wendy Vander Hart

Todd Weir

John White

Gail Wright