2021 General Synod Delegate Summary:
Elaine Tebbenkamp

This was my first experience of being a delegate to Synod.  While I’m assured by others that the experience could not compare to an in-person adventure, I was blown away by the wideness and success of the UCC presence in the world, concerning ourselves as a denomination with so many issues. Fifty workshops were available; I’ll be working through them for probably another week. 


There was much information and inspiration for church and other covenanted groups’ involvement in areas of Justice—of nature, racial, immigration, criminalization, economic, as well as agencies attending to the Justice issues of health for the whole self, attending particularly to concerns for disabilities, drug abuse, HIV-AIDS, Latinx, LGBTQI, mental health issues.  There were also presentations that were of assistance and hope as we learn to deal with the ‘new church’ in this ‘new time’—very practical ideas, inspiration and resources. 


We were reminded that none of us are alone; resources and agencies are available to help address just about any matter, especially noting OCWM, NIN, Global Ministries Partners, CHHSM, United Church Funds and others.  Of particular enjoyment was the keynote speaker, Valarie Kahr, and her message of an all-encompassing love. The business items that were addressed offered an interesting insight into the personalities that pervade this representative body of Church. 


I was repeatedly reminded of the importance of open, honest and frequent communication, as peoples’ interpretations of facts can vary widely. But in the end, there is consensus.  And a continuing love for God and each other as we do God’s work together.

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