Proposed changes to UCC bylaws to be debated at General Synod

The most significant proposed changes involve the composition of the church’s Executive Council. In addition, changes that determine the number of delegates to General Synod allotted to the UCC’s four Covenanted Ministries, the process through which the five elected officers of the Church seek re-election and the composition of the ecumenical delegates invited to each General Synod are also among those scheduled to be voted upon.
“The church will benefit from these changes in that we will have an Executive Council that is able to provide full oversight for all the work of the Covenanted Ministries,” said Edith Guffey, associate general minister. “There was the feeling by some that having executive council members that also were on the Office of General Ministries board compromised their ability to look holistically. This responds to that concern.”
Currently, most members of the Executive Council concurrently serve as members of the board of directors of the Office of General Ministries. If approved by the General Synod, the two boards will be distinct entities.
In an effort to diversify the make-up of the Executive Council, and to make it more representative of the UCC’s four Covenanted Ministries, the proposed bylaws changes also call for the number of representatives on the Executive Council from each of the Covenanted Ministries to increase from one to four. The size of the Office of General Ministries’ board of directors also would decrease from 58 members to 40.
“We now will have an Executive Council that will look unfettered at the scope of the life of the national setting,” Guffey said.

Also proposed is a bylaws change that would result in only 30 members from each Covenanted Ministry board serving as delegates to General Synod. Currently, every member of the four boards is a delegate.

The proposed bylaws changes also would result in each Covenanted Ministry being responsible for determining how it would handle the search process when an incumbent executive minister is seeking re-nomination.
Additionally, a bylaws change that would result in the Board of Directors of the Common Services Corporation – the arm of the Church’s national setting that oversees internal operations like mail, copy and telephone services – being comprised entirely of representatives of the Covenanted, Associated and Affiliated Ministries.

Categories: United Church of Christ News

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