UCC Executive Council members voted to establish a study task force to recommend better ways of planning and funding future General Synods, so that the whole church can experience greater ownership and responsibility for each General Synod.
The task force will study such questions as what we value about a General Synod, how often it should meet, what facilities we should use and who pays for what.
Its recommendations will affect General Synods held after 2003, since contracts already are in place for General Synod 23 this summer in Kansas City and General Synod 24, to be held in Minneapolis in 2003.
In the "old" structure, General Synod planning was run primarily by the national Executive Office, with other instrumentalities participating through their representatives on the planning committee. In the "new" structure, General Synod is to be "owned" by all of the Covenanted Ministries. That means responsibility for both planning and funding.
In the old structure, General Synod costs for the last three Synods were, respectively, $525,000 (Oakland), $460,818 (Columbus), and $537,709 (Providence). These costs were borne by the Executive Offices.
In the new structure, Synods will cost at least $600,000, largely due to increased costs for facilities (both hotel and convention centers), shuttle costs, image magnification, and printing and mailing.
Additional expenses will include youth and leadership development, delegate travel, and costs paid by Conferences, local committees and the Covenanted Ministries.
The study task force is expected to make its recommendations by the spring of 2002.