Delegates reject 4-year Synod proposal
July-August 2003

 Delegates to the UCC's General Synod 24 overwhelmingly voted to retain its once-every-two-year format, scuttling for now, at least, an effort to extend it to every four years. The original proposal, offered by a national committee charged to study the issue, said the bylaw change was needed largely as a way to save money.

Many who spoke against the proposal said a more infrequent Synod would weaken covenantal relation- ships, resulting in fewer dollars for Our Church's Wider Mission. Historically- marginalized groups worried that their voices would be diminished.

The Rev. Paul Forman, pastor of Northshore UCC in Woodinville, Wash., said that, instead of extending the time between General Synods, the church should accept the challenge by the Rev. John H. Thomas, UCC general minister and president, to increase all-church giving.

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