I meant to update you last night, but I simply could not stay awake! General Synod is wearing your extroverted, Jesus following, people loving pastor out!!
Yesterday and today, the body is presenting, debating and voting on Resolutions that will speak to every setting of the United Church of Christ. The Central Pacific Conference was integrally involved in two of them. First, the Palestine Israel Network presented this resolution, standing up for Palenstian children who are living under the tyranny of military occupation. There were several youth delegates who spoke passionately in support of their Palestian peers. I was moved by their witness in standing up for something that they believe in strongly. The resolution passed with 79% of the vote.
The second resolution that the Central Pacific Conference sponsored was the Resolution of Witness on becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Church found here.
This resolution calls for all settings of the UCC to engage in education, much like becoming an Open & Affirming church. I testified in support of this resolution, feeling Kaye Exo's presence channeled all the way here in Baltimore. You can see the actual testimony by going to my Facebook page or Donna Ross's, where she sites the live stream. In addition to just feeling empowered by the way that every voice counts, I was touched by the reaction from some of the attendees. Several younger latina women have stopped me to thank me for speaking out. A few colleagues have shared that they were moved by what I had to say. I confess that I only had a minute to speak....but when I began talking about meeting Jesus on the road, I was wishing I had more time....there were more words to be said!!
I also attending a hearing regarding proposed changes to our Manual on Ministry, which contains the guildlines for authorizing clergy, congregations etc. The hearing was intense, as people have a variety of perspectives. What impressed me is that since the reaction is so great, MESA, the part of the national setting who oversees this matter, withdrew the resolution until more Committees on Ministry can weigh in. Our UCC listens!!
I'll be sharing more about my reflections of the impact that General Synod has had on me...and for the church this coming Sunday at Bridgeport. I love knowing that I serve a community that supports me in being here...that walks with me as we live into our call to be disciples of the Gospel....that believes in a still speaking God who cannot be contained in only one expression or one paradigm. I appreciate you and look forward to connecting with you this weekend.
I'll add more later. Today we have a public witness against ICE, more resolutions, worship and I'm being asked by the national ONA folks to support some of our younger LGBTQAI candidates to help ground them theologically.
So to be continued.....and THANK YOU for the many ways you support me!