Awestruck, honored and humbled — just some of the words the Honorable Brian Holeman and the Rev. Sue Artt used to describe their thoughts when they learned they have been unanimously recommended as the moderator and assistant moderator of the United Church of Christ’s General Synod 2015 in Cleveland.
"I was tremendously humbled at the thought of even being considered a candidate for nomination [as] moderator for General Synod 30, let alone receive the nomination," said Holeman, a judge in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and a member of People’s Congregational UCC in Washington, D.C.
"I am a bit awestruck by the nomination, and at the same time, feel exhilarated by being asked to serve our beloved denomination as we move together into God’s future," Artt said. She has been pastor of St. Paul UCC in Nashville, Ill., since 2006.
Both Holeman and Artt said the role of moderator carries a responsibility that they are eager to fulfill. Their nominations — Holeman as moderator and Artt as assistant moderator — will be voted on at General Synod 2013 in Long Beach, Calif. Their roles will be to help move the agenda of the gathering along according to schedule in a manner that is fair and collegial, while being mindful of any unexpected changes or new Synod business that may arise.
The General Synod Nominating Committee said in its recommendation that "[r]arely has any Nominating Committee of the General Synod been so privileged to submit for election candidates possessing the professional credentials, skill sets, dedication and devotion to the United Church of Christ and love of God as do Mr. Holeman and Ms. Artt."
Artt has served on the UCC’s Governance Implementation Task Force, which is helping transition the denomination from its current multi-board structure to a single board of governance that will take effect at this summer’s General Synod 2013. Artt is a member of the UCC’s Local Church Ministries Board of Directors, and before entering ministry, was an executive for Mobile Oil Corporation.
"My prayer, as I join [the board] as Synod 30 vice-moderator — providing election at Synod 29 — is to take an active part in helping forward the denomination as we ever seek to be responsive to God’s call for us to help heal a hurting world," Artt said.
Holeman, who will serve as assistant moderator for General Synod 2013, sits on the UCC’s Executive Council and was on the board of directors of the church’s Office of General Ministries and United Church Funds. He was previously a trustee to UCC-related Chicago Theological Seminary. Before he was confirmed to his judgeship in 2003, Holeman practiced law in the insurance industry.
"My prayer is that should I be selected as Moderator for General Synod 30," Holeman said, "I am able to draw upon my reserve of blessed experiences in fulfilling that role and that I will serve to the fullest extent of the gifts God has given me."
For more information on General Synod this summer on California, visit the General Synod 2013 website.