Every morning we begin with breakfast and worship with the MACUCC delegation. Don Remick asked us to reflect on how we know when we experience God, and someone mentioned "sometimes when I get agitated or bothered, it's God nudging me to open wide my heart." O.K., I will be honest. That's not exactly what the person said, but that is what my heart heard.
Day Two Synod is demanding! After finishing worship at 10 PM on Friday night, breakfast with the Massachusetts delegation began at 6:30 this morning! I woke up and splashed through the heavy rain to breakfast and then onto the second plenary. Our keynote speaker for this session was syndicated columnist Connie Shultz, a UCC member and wife of Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH). She spoke about the UCC’s prophetic ministries on race and sexuality. She started her talk noting that it was pouring rain ...
Over the last couple of weeks, two issues related to General Synod have been simmering on the stove of UCC social media and getting hotter and hotter. One is the issue of the suggested bylaw changes which will, if passed, give the UCC general minister and president more executive authority, especially to hire and fire staff, and set priorities and vision. The second is the nomination of Rev. John Dorhauer, a straight white male, to the position of minister and president.
Whirlwind is the word to open my first entry – I have truly not stopped moving since getting on my plane Friday morning at 7 AM to fly here to Cleveland. But right now, I want to stop moving long enough to express what is moving through me since I hit the ground running.
Day 3 and everything is becoming a blurrrrrr. Synod is crazy busy and unfortunately today the Pride Parade in Cleveland was rained out; what an exciting and memorial event that would have been! Besides the marriage equality happenings and my excitement for the discussions tomorrow on Mass Incarceration, one thing that has really stood out to me is the disabilities ministry.
Suzan Young is writing on her experience with one of the General Synod exhibit hall features, a structure made to match a typical American solitary confinement cell in dimensions and furnishings. Those within hear sounds recorded within an actual solitary confinement cell. The display, jointly sponsored by UCC Justice and Witness Ministries and the National Religious Coalition Against Torture (NRCAT), was set up to help delegates consider whether solitary confinement should be considered ...
The theme for General Synod 30 is "Unexpected Places"...which encourages us to notice God in the unexpected. I love this. In my experience, church and God and Spirit and faith happen more freely and vulnerably in the unexpected. In fact, in my congregation, Old North Church of Marblehead, we constantly try to notice what church looks like--and we find church in the most unexpected moments. Like, showing up for the cheeseburger lunch special at Maddies' Sail Loft on a snow day where you have ...
The first day of General Synod was a bit hazy for me, having driven straight from Boston with my husband and two children and arrived in Cleveland at 2 AM. Despite the late night, our children still got us up early, so we were up and watching television when the US Supreme Court announced its decision in the Obergefell decision.
How appropriate that this year's theme at General Synod 30 is Unexpected Places and that today the Supreme Court solidified marriage equality through out the United States!
Today, I woke up at an unspeakable hour and made my way to my second General Synod. I am happy to be back at Synod and in Cleveland for the first time. General Synod is the place where so much of church work intersects, and as a self-described geek for administration and organization, General Synod tickles a special nerve for me.