General Synod Resolutions
The United Church of Christ General Synod will hold its biennial meeting July 12 - 17. Representatives from each Conference within the denomination meet to accomplish the business of the church, such as the election of church leaders and establishing a budget, and also vote on many social, theological and political issues. The Synod speaks only for itself, making recommendations to local churches and bodies. Our local church autonomy allows us to acctpt or disregard the stands that the national church takes on most issues. Some of the resolutions that are before Synod this year are as follows:
1. News Media Guidelines: asks that official press reports of General
Synod actions always include this statement: "The General Synod of the United
Church of Christ speaks only to, but not for, the United Church of Christ
and it's members."
2. Opposition to the SEICUS declaration: calls upon UCC President John Thomas to retract his action affirming the SEICUS declaration, which in part blesses same sex unions and condones abortion (this resolution comes from some of our sister churches in the Heidelburg Association).
3. Reaffirming the Trinitarian Basis of our Ecumenism: calls on General Synod to reaffirm the biblical Trinitarian basis of our ecumenism, by suspending cooperation with the Unitarian Universalist Association in favor of emphasizing cooperation with our covenanted Trinitarian partner denominations.
4. Mutual Respect Within the Faith Community: calls on all levels of the church to be sensitive to the needs and concerns of our diverse theological beliefs, and to have each group within the denomination acknowledge that they speak only for themselves.
5. Conflict Diamonds in Sierra Leone: calls on the UCC to support the United Nations embargo on the sale of diamonds from Sierra Leone (profits from these sales are used for war eforts; mining conditions are very perilous).
There are many other resolutions dealing with such topics as anti-Semitism, support of public education, pension supplementation for pastors of Native American congregations (who are paid far less than the average pastor), and the bombing of Vieques Island. If you are computer literate, you may read about these and follow the action at General Synod by going online to SynodAssembly.net beginning June 1.