General Synod affirms principle of unified governance structure
Written by W. Evan Golder

After more than three years, and in excess of $250,000 in legal and meeting expenses from a shrinking national budget, a resolution affirming the principle of a single, unified governance structure was adopted by General Synod 27.

The effort required 49 minutes, with 29 speakers engaging in debate.

The Synod committee charged with fi nding consensus in nine separate resolutions submitted on the single-structure issue met for six hours, eventually voting unanimously on a resolution to submit to Synod.

The issue captured the attention of many at Synod and the committee’s meeting room was standing room only, with more than 250 persons in attendance.

The compromise resolution titled "Toward a Unified Governance" contains five parts.

By adopting the resolution, General Synod 27 asked the Executive Council and the Covenanted Ministry Boards to bring to General Synod 28 a proposal for a single governance board, along with necessary constitution and bylaw changes. That Synod is planned for Tampa, Fla., in 2011.

Racial and ethnic constituency groups, concerned about losing their hard-earned  representation on the current Ministries governing boards, previously fought hard against a single governance board.

But, with the exception of Justice and Witness Ministries board — three boards and the Executive Council, concerned about the economic, logistical and theological problems of the current structure—voted for a single structure.

Yet conspicuous by its absence was any floor discussion of the issue that had attracted the most opposition prior to Synod: the concern of the racial and ethnic constituency groups about losing their hard-earned representation on the current governing boards.

After the floor vote, protesters gathered at microphones to request reconsideration of the vote in hopes they could introduce a minority resolution. The moderator ruled the request out of order and the motion carried as voted.

Complete coverage of General Synod 27 can be found at