General Synod resolutions seek to reshape denomination's mission
June - July 2009
The UCC's Executive Council has received 25 proposed resolutions as items of business for the 27th General Synod in Grand Rapids, Mich. Based on criteria established at prior Synods, the Executive Council can make one of several recommendations for the continuation and discernment of a resolution's adoption.
The following 14 resolutions have been referred to committees at the General Synod. Pending the outcome of committee debate, these resolutions may be presented to a plenary session of voting delegates for approval:
AN ECONOMIC JUSTICE COVENANT
Resolution of Witness submitted by the Southern Conference calling for UCC settings to commit to a covenant of study, witness and action in pursuit of economic justice in our world.
SACRED CONVERSATIONS ON RACE
Prudential Resolution submitted by the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference calls upon the congregations and associations of the UCC to continue Sacred Conversations on Race.
OPTIONS TO WAR AGAINST IRAN
Resolution of Witness submitted by the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference opposing unilateral, covert or overt pre-emptive war, against the people of the sovereign nation of Iran.
A CALL FOR STUDY OF OUR CHURCH'S INVOLVEMENT IN THE EUGENICS MOVEMENT
Prudential Resolution submitted by the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference to determine whether the UCC should apologize for its involvement in the Eugenics movement based on the actions of its predecessor denominations.
AFFIRMING THE ACCRA CONFESSION: COVENANTING FOR JUSTICE IN THE ECONOMY AND THE EARTH
Resolution of Witness submitted by Justice and Witness Ministries commending the Accra Confession to the whole church for study, reflection, prayer, and action so that we may live into a more just system of economic globalization.
ON THE ROLES OF CHURCH AND GOVERNMENT IN ADDRESSING GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS
Resolution of Witness submitted by Justice and Witness Ministries and Wider Church Ministries calling to reaffirm healthy, nutritional food as a human right and to address the unique dynamics of the present global food crisis in prophetic witness, advocacy for more just food policy, food sovereignty and food security, and to collaborate with like-minded partners in effective actions.
CALLING FOR COMPREHENSIVE HIV PREVENTION IN CHURCH AND COMMUNITY
Prudential Resolution submitted by Wider Church Ministries calling church and community to new and increased levels of attention to stop the spread of HIV by scaling-up best practices in comprehensive HIV prevention.
A CALL TO BE GLOBAL MISSION CHURCHES IN THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
Prudential Resolution submitted by Wider Church Ministries requesting that UCC settings underscore the priority of the church's involvement in mission around the world through faith, justice and advocacy.
ON RESPONSIBLE MEETING PRACTICE
Prudential Resolution submitted by the Hawaii Conference encouraging settings of the UCC to plan and hold meetings, events, and programs in such a way that the interconnection and inseparability of creation care and social justice, as appropriate for the venue or location, are modeled.
AXIS OF FRIENDSHIP WITH IRAN
Resolution of Witness submitted by First Congregational (Berkeley) UCC, Calif., by the New York Conference, and by six other local churches from the Southern California-Nevada, Connecticut, Missouri Mid-South and New York Conferences calling upon the UCC to work to break down the walls of hostility between the United States and Iran by engaging in practices of citizen diplomacy.
CALLING FOR THE SUPPORT OF H.R. 676 – SINGLE PAYER NATIONAL HEALTH CARE REFORM TO ADVANCE HEALTH EQUITY FOR ALL AND TO ELIMINATE HEALTH DISPARITIES
Resolution of Witness submitted by the Council for Racial and Ethnic Ministries calling on UCC settings to endorse and support in principle the provision of Single-Payer Universal Health Care Reform through national health insurance that is privately provided and publicly funded.
A CALL TO AWARENESS AND ACTION TO END THE PRACTICE OF TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
Resolution of Witness submitted by Justice and Witness Ministries.
CALLING ON PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA TO REVISIT AND RE-NEGOTIATE A MORE HUMANE, DEMOCRATIC, AND ECOLOGICALLY SOUND VERSION OF THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
Resolution of Witness submitted by the Rev. Carrie Bail of the Massachusetts Conference and 11 other General Synod delegates from the Massachusetts, Pennsylvania Southeast and Florida Conferences.
A JUSTICE TOWN HALL GATHERING
Prudential Resolution submitted by Pacific Islander and Asian American Ministries calling for a town hall gathering of justice advocates within the UCC one day before the beginning of each General Synod.
Two resolutions have been directly referred to plenary sessions of the General Synod for vote:
ON THE SITUATION OF IRAQI REFUGEES AND INTERNALLY DISPLACED
Resolution of Witness submitted by the Central Atlantic and Southern Conferences drawing attention to the continuing humanitarian crisis faced by Iraqis — both internally displaced and refugees — caused by the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation, and calls upon the UCC to respond.
A CALL TO REAFFIRM THE IMPORTANCE OF ECUMENICAL COMMITMENTS AND INITIATIVES IN THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
Resolution of Witness submitted by Heidelberg UCC, York, P.A., and six other local churches from the Massachusetts, Michigan, Penn Central, Pennsylvania Southeast and Wisconsin Conferences.
Three resolutions have been deemed amendments of or complimentary to previously approved Synod actions. They have been referred to their implementing bodies for further study:
EARTHWISE CONGREGATION: ON MEDIATING CLIMATE CHANGE
Prudential Resolution submitted by the Minnesota Conference, to the implementing bodies named in "A Resolution on Climate Change" as voted by the Twenty-Sixth General Synod (07-GS-16).
IN SUPPORT OF PHYSICIAN ASSISTANCE IN DYING
Resolution of Witness submitted by the Central Atlantic Conference, to Justice and Witness Ministries, with the recommendation that it be considered in the study process established by the Twenty-Sixth General Synod in the resolution, "Legalization of Physician Aid in Dying" (07-GS-37).
ON THE URGENCY FOR ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Resolution of Witness submitted by the Connecticut Conference, to the implementing bodies named in "A Resolution on Climate Change" as voted by the Twenty-Sixth General Synod (07-GS-16).
Four proposed resolutions — all regarding the continuation of the process that would lead to a single governing board for the UCC's covenanted ministries — were received after the Jan. 1, 2009, deadline. Their disposition will be addressed at an Executive Council meeting in June.
By approval of their respective bodies, the UCC's Penn Central, Connecticut and Michigan Conferences and the Catoctin Association of the Central Atlantic Conference each submitted separate resolutions asking for debate on governance issues and an affirmation by the Synod that a single governing board would be in the best interest of the entire church.
Resolutions of similar nature are often combined into a single document for the General Synod to consider. "In all likelihood the Committee of Reference, who decides on the disposition of resolutions, will act to send these resolutions to one committee and may even recommend that they be combined," said Lee Foley, the UCC's minister for governing body relations. "It is probable that the General Synod will be dealing with one governance resolution, not four."
Foley explained that no action is possible by the General Synod regarding the tabled combined board proposal. Rather, he said the submitted resolutions merely encourage the Covenanted Ministry Boards and Executive Council to again take up their deliberations on continuing the process of defining the constitution and bylaw changes that would lead to the unified board structure