General Synod Nominating Committee calling for candidates to serve on UCC Board
The Nominating Committee of the United Church of Christ General Synod is encouraging the best minds and creative souls across the denomination to use their gifts in service to the church on the UCC Board.
Committee members are looking to identify a number of candidates, in a process that begins in March, to join the UCC Board for a six-year term from 2023 through 2029.
There are 12 at-large board seats available. The nomination process is open through Oct. 1. Candidates can be suggested by Conferences of the UCC, ministers, members of historically underrepresented groups, and even by self-nomination. Any UCC member is eligible.
‘Wide array’ needed
The Rev. Rachel MaeRose chairs the 2022 committee. The pastor of Christ Community Church in Cortland, N.Y., has been serving on the committee since 2017. They said the group is “seeking nominees from a wide array of backgrounds and regions.”
“It’s important for the incredible work carried out by our United Church of Christ; a lay-member of a rural church will have different experiences of ministry than a clergy-person of an inner-city church,” MaeRose said. “Both have important perspectives about the needs of our world which our denomination can respond to.” They said a diverse group of UCC board members is crucial “to carry out the work of the kin-dom of God.”
“Without people from a wide array of experiences, perspectives and expertise, the UCC would lose part of our fundamental identity, and we would be much poorer for it.”
The UCC Board meets twice a year as a group in March and October. Virtual meetings have replaced in-person gatherings in Cleveland due to the pandemic. The UCCB, currently coming together on Zoom, works with the three elected officers to steer the vision, goals and actions of the national setting of the denomination.
The Nominating Committee must adhere to diversity guidelines for board membership, spelled out in the UCC Bylaws. Of the 52 seats on the board, 36 are at-large positions, 12 of which are filled every two years. The remaining 16 spots are ex-officio positions — such as officers of the church, Conference ministers and executives of related ministries.
“It is amazing to me with each biennium how the Spirit works,” MaeRose said. “In the years I have done this work, by far the greatest joy is meeting with the nominees and their references. I am regularly left feeling awed and inspired by the stories and experiences I hear from the many ministries around our country and our world. We have incredibly amazing people who are part of our church, and each conversation reminds me of the greatness of our UCC.”
Once the Nominating Committee selects candidates, it’s up to delegates to General Synod 34 whether to accept the entire slate of nominees when they meet June 30 through July 4, 2023, in Indianapolis.
Moderator nominees sought, too
The committee is also seeking two people to serve as a future General Synod moderator and vice-moderator — the individuals who preside over the Synod — for General Synod 35 in 2025.
Board nominations can be submitted online between now and Oct. 1 at a secure page on the UCC website. All information will be treated with the highest confidentiality.
“The Apostle Paul reminds us in Corinthians 1:12 that we are all blessed with gifts and opportunities for service and action, that it takes many parts to make the body of Christ, and that the hands and feet and eyes of the body of Christ fulfill their necessary roles for the betterment of the whole,” MaeRose said. “We seek a wide array of backgrounds and skills to ensure that our UCC Board is the most well-rounded and capable for all that it encounters and takes on. We encourage anyone who loves the UCC to prayerfully consider becoming a board member. We need your voice, your energy, and your gifts from God!”
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