On July 1st delegates from the Central Atlantic Conference joined delegates from the 37 other UCC conferences at the 28th General Synod in Tampa, Florida. Over the next five days the General Synod will consider 13 resolutions and major revisions of the Constitution and Bylaws. These decisions will guide the direction of the church for years to come.
The changes in the Constitution and Bylaws were proposed by a Unified Governance Working Group which sought to streamline the organizational bodies of the church to increase efficiency and save resources. There are strong voices both for and against the reorganization. If the proposed changes are accepted, the UCC will go from four ministry boards to one unified board. This will decrease meetings costs substantially, but one consequence will be fewer voices at the table. Some wonder whether having fewer people at the table will mean that valued experiences and perspectives are left out of the conversation.
In addition to the reorganization the Synod will consider a resolution called “Common Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Baptism.” After seven years of talks among leaders of Reformed denominations, including the Presbyterian USA, Reformed Church of American, UCC, and the Catholic Church, this agreement would affirm that Baptism performed in any of these churches be recognized as true baptism in any of the other churches. If affirmed this will be a great stride forward in ecumenical ministry.
You can follow the decisions of the General Synod online click here for all things Synod – resolutions, news, worship, webcasts. This is our church at work.
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