Synod theological reflections continue with three new voices
Theological reflections were such a popular and welcomed part of the United Church of Christ’s 2013 General Synod in Long Beach that this year’s General Synod organizers decided to continue the spiritual element in Cleveland—and they’ve added one extra voice.
The Rev. Matthew Laney, the Rev. Robert Molsberry and the Rev. Nancy Rosas will serve as theological reflectors for this summer’s gathering from June 26 to 30.
“Our three theological reflectors for this Synod hold among them a wonderful spectrum of pastoral and cultural experience,” said the Rev. Susan Blain, UCC minister for worship, liturgy and spiritual formation. “Bob, Nancy and Matt will offer an active, prayerful presence for Synod, listening carefully as the business of the plenary sessions progress to hear what theological themes and challenges present themselves, in order to offer Synod a wider, deeper perspective on the work at hand.”
Laney, Molsberry and Rosas are charged with offering a reflection at the conclusion of each plenary that help illustrate how the business and spiritual aspects of each session blend together.
The Rev. Matthew Laney is the senior minister of Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford, Conn. A graduate of Andover Newton Theological School, Laney has pastored churches in Vermont and Michigan, and worked with people who are homeless in Atlanta. Laney is a contributor to the UCC’s Stillspeaking Daily Devotionals and an aspiring novelist for young readers.
“It’s quite possible God does not leave the room whilst we deliberate important issues, especially—God help us—when we use fancy language like ‘whilst’ and ‘whereas,'” Laney said. “Be it resolved, God is still speaking before, during and long after the ink dries.”
The Rev. Robert Molsberry is the interim pastor at Peace UCC, in Webster Groves, Mo. A graduate of Yale Divinity School, Molsberry has pastored churches in Illinois and Iowa, and most recently served as conference minister for the Ohio Conference of the UCC. He has published dozens of articles and authored two books, “Blindsided by Grace: Entering the World of Disability” and “Tour de Faith: A Cyclist’s Lessons for Living,” that explore the concept of disability. Injured in a bicycle accident in 1997, Molsberry now uses a wheelchair for mobility.
“I’m happy and humbled to have been selected as one of three theological reflectors for General Synod 30,” Molsberry said. “Humbled, because it seems a daunting task to presume to bring a theological witness to a gathering of sound theologians in their own right—both practical and professional theologians who are already perfectly capable of pondering the spiritual dimensions of their lives and actions. Happy, because of the value of this witness. It says something to the world that the United Church of Christ goes about its governance not in a vacuum, but grounded in our faith tradition.”
Molsberry said that the purpose of the reflections is to “remind the church that its business is never just business. The business of the church is ministry.”
The Rev. Nancy Rosas is the minister of spiritual formation at Wash Park UCC in Denver. A graduate of the Iliff School of Theology, Rosas has served in a variety of ministries within the church and in the communities where she has lived in both Central America and the United States. Rosas directs the Women’s Program at El Centro Humanitario para los Trabajadores (Humanitarian Center for Workers), where she provides pastoral accompaniment and education for economic and social self-development for women.
Rosas said she is thankful for the opportunity to serve as one of the theological reflectors for General Synod.
“I feel honored to facilitate a space of theological reflection and spiritual grounding for the business meetings at Synod,” she said. “I believe that when we are intentional about grounding the work we do as a church in spirit and theological reflection we are able to remember our purpose, our common vision to encourage transformation and healing of all of creation in everything we do.”
For the last information about General Synod 30 in Cleveland, make sure you bookmark the General Synod website and check in regularly.
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