Synod scorecard
August - September 2005
September 1, 2005

Here's a rundown of all actions taken by General Synod 25

Elections

Reelected the Rev. John H. Thomas to a third and final four-year term as general minister and president.

Reelected the Rev. Jose A. Malayang to a third and final four-year term as executive minister of Local Church Ministries.

Elected the Rev. Cally Rogers-Witte to fill an unexpired two-year term as executive minister of Wider Church Ministries.

Elected M. Linda Jaramillo to a four-year term as executive minister of Justice and Witness Ministries.

Elected Merlyn Lawrence as moderator of General Synod 26 in Hartford. Elected the Rev. Elizabeth King of Massachusetts and Kevin Manz of California as assistant moderators.

Elected new members of the Covenanted Ministries' boards of directors.

Adopted

National basic support projections of $10.7 million in 2006 and $11 million in 2007.

Percentages for national basic support allocations for the 2006- 2007 biennium: Executive Council (0%), Office of General Ministries (22.55%), Justice and Witness Ministries (17.35%), Local Church Ministries (29.40%), Wider Church Ministries (23.65%), Pension Boards (7.05%), United Church Foundation (0%). Also authorized Executive Council to make necessary changes to the allocation in October 2005, if necessary.

Approved Pronouncement

Ministry issues: Forming and preparing pastoral leaders for God's church (Passed as amended) Calls upon Associations and Conferences to make available "multiple paths of preparation" for ordained ministry appropriate to the diverse needs of the church, including traditional seminary education, regional theological formation programs and mentoring.

Approved Changes to Bylaws

Created a new, smaller board of directors for the Office of General Ministries.

Created a distinct Executive Council, with only 16 of its members representing the boards of directors of the Covenanted Ministries, with a distinct membership separate from the Office of General Ministries.

Reduced to 30 — instead of all — the number of voting General Synod delegates representing each Covenanted Ministry board of directors.

Clarified process by which an incumbent executive seeks a subsequent term.

Reconstituted Cleveland's Common Services Corporation board to be comprised of representatives of its user bodies (Covenanted, Associated and Affiliated Ministries).

Approved Resolutions

A call for environmental education and action. (Referred directly to implementing body) Calls for implementation of programs that inspire education and action in the areas of environmental justice and protection.

Called to wholeness in Christ: Becoming an accessible to all church. (Referred directly to implementing body) Calls on the UCC at all levels to embrace the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and to become a truly accessible church.

Supporting congregations and providing guidance for stewardship of God's creation during the coming period of declining fossil fuels. (Referred directly to an implementing body)

Another world is possible: A peace with justice movement in the UCC. (Passed) Supports building a denomination-wide "peace with justice movement" that embodies a multi-issue and multiracial, multicultural approach to justice and peacemaking.

Calling on the UCC to declare itself to be a "fair trade" denomination. (Passed) Urges UCC settings to purchase products from companies that abide by fair trade practices.

In support of making fast food fair food. (Passed) Calls upon church settings to support the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and its efforts to create a new model of corporate social responsibility throughout the fast food industry. Commends support for the Fair Food Alliance.

For the Common Good. (Passed) Calls church to uphold the common good as a foundational ideal in the United States and reject the notion that government is inherently more unwieldy or inefficient than other democratic institutions. Reaffirms the obligations of citizens to share — through taxes — the financial responsibility for public services benefiting all citizens.

For the International Criminal Court. (Passed) Calls for informed advocacy in support of the International Criminal Court, urges the President to restore the signature of the United States to treaty establishing the Court.

In support of equal marriage rights for all. (Two proposals merged; passed as amended) Affirms equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender and affirms equal access for all persons to the basic rights, institutional protections and quality of life conferred by the recognition of marriage. Also, calls on congregations to prayerfully consider adopting wedding policies that do not discriminate against gay or lesbian couples. Asks all settings of the church to urge legislative support for marriage equality. Asks local congregations to prayerfully discuss and study marriage equality. Recognizes that the UCC is not of one mind on this issue and understands that discussions will be difficult.

In support of fair and just compensation for lay employees of the UCC. (Passed) Calls on UCC employers to commit to providing lay employees an annual contribution toward retirement of no less than three percent of compensation.

In support of ministries to our campuses of higher education. (Passed as amended) Urges the UCC to provide more resources to ministries in higher education.

Investigations into human rights violations in the Philippines. (Passed) Offers the UCC's voice in partnership with others calling for timely, full and impartial investigations into human rights violations in the Philippines.

Call for truth-telling and standards of ethics in public life. (Passed) Expresses concern about the deliberate manipulation of information by persons in public life.

Promoting peace for all in the Sudan. (Passed as amended) Calls on the Sudanese government to end violence against civilians. Also, calls on the U.S. government to intensify efforts with the United Nations to seek a comprehensive peace in Sudan. Asks UCC members to contribute generously to humanitarian relief.

Religious freedom for Native Hawaiian prisoners. (Passed) Calls on Hawaiian law enforcement agencies and governmental representatives to grant native Hawaiian prisoners in Watonga, Okla., the right to practice their native religions.

Saving Social Security from privatization. (Passed) Calls for legislative advocacy opposing privatization of Social Security.

Concerning use of economic leverage in promoting peace in the Middle East. (Two proposals merged, substitute motion passed as amended) Calls on UCC individual and corporate investors to use economic leverage to advocate for peace with justice in Israel-Palestine.

Tear down the wall. (Passed) Calls upon the Israeli government to cease construction and dismantle security barrier marking the separation of Israeli and Palestinian territories.

Reaffirming Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and reaffirming our historic UCC cross, crown and orb with motto logo. (Two proposals merged, passed as amended) Reaffirms the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ who is Lord, Savior and Sovereign. Commends wide use of UCC logo throughout the church.

Supreme Court Justice nomination. (Passed) Calls on the President and Senate to use a bi-partisan process of openness and consultation to nominate and confirm Supreme Court Justices.

Resolution to advance the cause of the most disadvantaged in the budgetary and appropriations process. (Passed) Underscores Christ's call to serve the poor by calling attention to the 2006 U.S. Federal Budget which significantly increases the burdens placed upon the most disadvantaged. Calls on churches to speak in the public arena.

General Synod Form and Function. (Passed as amended) Retains the resolutions process for future General Synods.

Referred to Executive Council

Establishing representative and senatorial Synods. (Referred for study) Proposes that every other biennial gathering of General Synod be comprised only of two voting delegates from each Conference, Covenanted Ministry and Executive Council in an effort to limit the church's Synod-related financial expenditures.

Defeated Resolution

Marriage is between one man and one woman. (Defeated) Would have declared that marriage is to be between one man and one woman with no exceptions. 

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CONTACT INFO

Rev. J. Bennett Guess
Executive Minister, Local Church Ministries
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3801
guessb@ucc.org