Report to the church from the United Church of Christ Board, March 2021
Yvette Wynn, chair of the United Church of Christ Board, has issued the following report on the board’s recent meeting. She is a member of Community Church of the Pelhams, Pelham, N.Y., and an associate member of Holy Covenant UCC, Charlotte, N.C.
The United Church of Christ Board completed its annual spring meeting in three days over Zoom, March 4-6. This is the final required meeting in this biennium (4 of 4). However, the UCCB will convene once again this summer to serve as the Business Committee of General Synod and additional meetings may be scheduled as needed by the chair.
Our spring meeting began with worship led by Ms. Wynn followed by two hours of dialogue about the 2016 Strategic Vision Report that has established the strategic priorities of the National Setting. Our General Minister and President, the Rev. John Dorhauer, titled his report, “I Love Our Staff.” It featured staff of the National Setting who shared how their work has been guided by the strategic priorities embraced by the board. Find the UCC Strategic Priorities here.
The Moderator of the General Synod, the Rev. Penny Lowes, led us into Day Two of our meeting. Rev. Lowes, who chairs the General Synod Planning Committee, walked the UCCB through a deep review of plans for our first virtual General Synod. The UCCB is engaged and excited. Significant planning has prepared us for a successful virtual Synod. A detailed update will be shared with the wider church very shortly. A virtual Synod has the potential to reach many more participants than have participated in past gatherings that required travel. Although there are sad tradeoffs that we have to accept by not meeting in person for General Synod, the UCCB is especially excited by the opportunities for inclusion that will be possible in the digital space. Please watch the General Synod landing page on UCC.org for a full list of activities, training events and opportunities to participate.
The UCCB took several important actions at our recent meeting, including these:
- We received the unaudited report of the year-end financial statement for 2020 and reviewed projected contributions through Our Church’s Wider Mission for the next three years. We approved the recommendation of our Investment and Endowment Committee to place additional endowment funds under the management of United Church Funds.
- We created the General Minister and President Evaluation and Compensation Committee, which will consolidate the work of the GMP Annual Evaluation Committee and the Personnel Committee. UCCB Standing Rules will be revised to reflect these changes at the Fall 2021 meeting. The UCCB approved a market increase for the GMP during a call meeting in February.
- We accepted the recommendation of the Subcommittee on Disposition regarding resolutions for plenary session and committee review at General Synod. One was recommended for UCCB review.
Additional updates included the report of our Development Committee about the exciting opportunity to launch a Legacy Circle that would encourage legacy or planned gifts and enhance the UCC’s financial security and stability that we need to continue to explore given the downward trends of OCWM. The UCCB is very grateful to all local churches and conferences who support the National Setting.
The UCCB Chair / UCCB Vice Chair Nominating Committee provided an interim report. They expect to complete their work of recommending the next Chair and Vice Chair for vote at the UCCB meeting on July 1.
Our Associate General Ministers, the Rev. Traci Blackmon and the Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, presented updates of their respective portfolios as did the chief executives of United Church Funds, The Pension Boards, the Council for Health and Human Service Ministries, and the Church Building & Loan Fund. Rev. Blackmon provided an update on the racial equity and inclusion assessment commissioned by the UCCB last year. We are currently in the finalist stage of selecting a consulting firm to guide this important work. Rev. Blackmon also shared a preview of Frontline Faith, an online learning platform that will bring new curricula and resources to local churches. Rev. Thompson provided an overview of the ecumenical and missional partnerships that are within her portfolio and how COVID-19 has influenced how we begin deploying mission partners. As our General Synod Administrator, Rev. Thompson has played a key role in planning for our digital gathering this summer. The CEO of the Pension Boards, Brian Bodager, also shared an update about the Ministers’ Financial Vitality Initiative, a program to relieve clergy indebtedness.
The United Church of Christ Board welcomes engagement with the wider church. To reach the Board or to express interest in serving on either the UCCB or the General Synod Nominating Committee, please contact our staff administrator, Donyale Copland, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God’s blessing be with you all,
Yvette Wynn Chair The Rev. Cameron Barr Vice Chair
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