Written by Gregg Brekke
Although discussion on the resolution "An Economic Justice Covenant" was interrupted several times, General Synod delegates adopted the measure Tuesday morning.
The resolution came up for consideration immediately after the Synod's vote on unified governance, a hotly debated issue. After that vote was taken, a request was made for the Synod to pause for prayer. Other delegates and visitors arose and began chanting in protest.
Moderator Marvin Morgan ruled the protests out of order but allowed the prayer before attempting to move on to the next resolution. Speaking at the microphone designated for procedural matters, several people asked the Synod to revisit its decision on the governance resolution. Morgan ruled those requests out of order.
Introducing the Economic Justice resolution was Seth Carey of First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, Ill., who chaired Committee 2. He noted that the committee deleted specific examples of sustainable practices and instead asked that a task force, called for in the resolution, provide a list of those practices.
In May 2007, after an extensive study and discussion process, the United Church of Christ Chapel Hill (N.C.) created and adopted an Economic Justice Covenant. Since then, the congregation has taken action to live out its covenant: launching a Simple Living group, protesting in support of meat-packing workers, and making plans to "go green" with its new and existing buildings.
The congregation's undertaking led to the resolution, which encourages each UCC national ministry, Conference, Association and local church to "become an Economic Justice Church."
The resolution was submitted by the Southern Conference. It outlines actions, similar to those taken by the Chapel Hill congregation, to be taken to live out the Economic Justice Church designation. One step is to consider drafting and adopting an Economic Justice Covenant.
The resolution will be implemented by Justice and Witness Ministries.