Written by Anthony Moujaes
Organizers for the United Church of Christ's General Synod 2013 are reviving a spiritual element of previous Synods during this summer's gathering in Long Beach, Calif. The Rev. Quinn G. Caldwell and the Rev. Rita Nakashima Brock, Ph.D., have been named theological reflectors for GS 29, and are charged with linking the spirit to the business during the week-long event June 28-July 3.
"Rita and Quinn are two very bright minds, who will help illuminate the places where the business aspect of General Synod — the resolutions and the work done in committee and on the floor — meets the theological aspects,” said W. Mark Clark, Associate General Minister of the UCC. "General Synod is a combination of business, spiritual reflection and celebration, so bringing back theological reflections will help guide us in understanding how they relate to each other.”
Theological reflectors haven't been on the meeting schedule since the Hartford, Conn. gathering in 2007, which celebrated the UCC's 50th anniversary. Brock and Caldwell will offer reflection at the close of business sessions on June 28, June 29, July 1 and July 2.
Caldwell is part of the Stillspeaking Writers' Group, which is responsible for the UCC's Daily Devotionals. He is also the facilitator for the Feed Your Spirit Writers' Group that creates new resources for the Feed Your Spirit page, a new spiritually-oriented webpage that is interactive, with practical ideas and theological depth.
Now the pastor at Plymouth Congregational Church UCC in Syracuse, N.Y., Caldwell was a former associate pastor at Old South Church in Boston. He was an intern at Wellesley Congregational Village Church UCC (Wellesley, Mass.) under the Rev. Martin Copenhaver, who is the featured preacher for Sunday Worship June 30 during General Synod 2013.
Ordained by the Disciples of Christ (USA), a full communion ecumenical partner of the UCC, Brock is a theologian and writer on the faculty of Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Tex., and is co-director of the school's Soul Repair Center. As a writer, Brock and Dr. Gabriella Lettini co-authored Soul Repair: Recovery from Moral Injury After War (Beacon, 2012). Brock was a theological reflector for General Synod 2001 in Kansas City, Mo. She visited the UCC's national office in late February to speak about the topic to staff and seminary leaders.