Greetings from the United Church of Christ Board,
The UCCB met via Zoom in lieu of our scheduled in-person meeting, due to COVID19. This was our first full board meeting by Zoom, though we’ve had trainings and special call meetings online. Due to the shortened meeting, we opened with a devotional from General Minister & President the Rev. John Dorhauer in the place of a full worship in the Amistad Chapel. We had planned a retreat with the Council of Conference Ministers and to jointly celebrate the installation of Associate General Minister the Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, however this was postponed to a later date. We continue to pray with AGM Karen Georgia Thompson, who was not able to be with us.
A focus of this meeting was the Church’s response and resources deployed, to help local churches and other settings meet the changing needs all are facing during this COVID 19 pandemic. GMP Dorhauer and Associate General Minister the Rev. Traci Blackmon updated board members about the extensive resources the National Setting has made available and continues to launch on UCC.org.
We are up to 52 members and our generative discussions were not dampened by this new format. We had a thoughtful debate and deliberation about General Synod. We handled the routine proposed revisions to General Synod standing rules as well as engaging in a broader discussion about how we might begin to engage the wider church on larger General Synod questions. General Synod is one of the significant ways we come together as church and each of us likes any number of its parts like worship, resolutions, speakers, gatherings, exhibit hall, youth at Synod — all of which leads to a question of what is the aim of General Synod? In asking that question, we might also wonder what audience are we targeting and is the current format of GS the best way to achieve these objectives? We’ll continue this conversation at our upcoming meetings.
Also on our agenda was a discussion led by John, Traci, Chief Financial Officer Nick Katzakis and Chief Strategy Officer Cheryl Joseph Williams about our 5-year financial projection and unyielding need to identify additional revenue sources. John walked the board through a draft of the ‘National Staff Strategic Priorities’ planning document, prepared by our chief strategy officer, to align every member of our staff’s daily activity with identified strategic priorities of the UCC. Resolution #8, the larger questions about our UCC identity and what it means to be welcoming is still a matter of serious discussion with more time to be allocated at an upcoming UCCB call meeting.
We took several important votes during our meeting, which included:
- Release of reversionary interest in real estate on the campus of Fisk University
- Resolution of UCCB from the Hawaii Conference to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Hawaiian Islands, celebrating the relationship between the UCC and Hawaiian host culture. This is not a General Synod resolution and no GS process was averted.
- Executive Compensation policy for the GMP
In addition to the full board meeting, the executive committee, GMP Evaluation committee and General Synod Planning committees also met via Zoom. All other committees held their regular meetings prior to the UCCB meeting.
The UCCB thanks our staff support provided by the National Setting for their incredible dedication to the work of the board. If you have questions for the UCCB, please contact our staff support Ms. Donyale Copeland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peace of Christ be with you all,