With elections set for Monday, June 24, the United Church of Christ’s General Synod heard Friday and Saturday from candidates for two important national offices: the Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, a new nominee for Associate General Minister of Global Engagement, and the Rev. John Dorhauer, renominated for a second term as General Minister and President.
The Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, nominee for Associate General Minister of Global Engagement of the United Church of Christ, raised her prophetic and poetic voice at General Synod on Friday night, weaving the theme of time throughout her address.
Echoing a well-used phrase, the Rev. Traci Blackmon told a United Church of Christ Youth At Synod group Friday evening, “You are not the church of the future. You are the church of today.”
The diversity of the United Church of Christ was celebrated in languages, music, vestments, and symbols Friday, June 21, as General Synod 32 opened with worship underscoring the Synod’s theme “Let your light shine before others.”
As General Synod attendees checked into the registration area at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee on June 21, they were steered to “App-bassadors” to help them load the General Synod app on their phones if they had not done so before arrival.
Representatives of the Ho-Chunk American Indian nation welcomed the United Church of Christ’s national meeting to their people's ancestral homeland Friday, June 21, and heard UCC leaders confess the Church's historic sins in its treatment of native North Americans and others.
Of the many invitations delegates and visitors to the United Church of Christ General Synod received in advance of their meeting this week in Milwaukee, the most important may have been the invitation to give.
Rainbows of light emanating from a cross in the Amistad Chapel in Cleveland inspired a traveling minister of the arts to create a processional cross and a baptismal font that will be dedicated Friday afternoon, June 21, during opening worship at the 2019 General Synod in Milwaukee. Both are portable, luminous, and intended to be used for many Synods to come.
In a decision testing the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a 40-foot cross-shaped war memorial erected on public land in Bladensburg, Maryland, does not amount to an impermissible government endorsement of religion.
As setup got underway in Milwaukee on Thursday, June 20, for the General Synod of the United Church of Christ, you could see celebration and beauty mixing in unique ways with a religious urge to right the wrongs of the world and find new ways to talk about faith and each other.