2019 General Synod Delegate Summary:
Resolution Regarding The Use Of Plastic Foam (I.E. Styrofoam®) takes 500 years to forever to decompose. Americans throw away on average of 25 million plastic foam cups a year. This doesn’t include take out boxes and other uses of plastic foam. While sitting in the committee, we discussed options and steps of how to take this resolution to our churches and put it into action. One step is to educate members about plastic foam and its effects on the environment. Another step is to encourage the use of other products that are not plastic foam like paper products and/or washable dishes. This resolution follows with the “3 Great Loves” with Environmental Justice. This resolution was approved.
On Support for the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019, this resolution focuses on climate change due to fossil carbon. There have been major natural disasters like drought, flooding, severe storms, oceans rising, and species destruction due to climate change. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 takes this issue to a national level with bi-partisan cosponsors. We discussed that the bill itself has areas that need work, but the bill is needed to start working on climate change issues. This resolution encourages the United Church of Christ to be part of the discussion on climate change and solutions. It also encourages the church to provide resources and information about climate change to their members. This resolution was approved.
Summary of General Synod experience.
General Synod 32 was my first time at General Synod. I was excited and nervous all mixed into one. I had no clue what to expect. As the committees began and Caucus had us up with coffee in hand, I felt more at ease. I felt very welcomed by all the delegates from the Missouri Mid-South Conference. General Synod was a roller coaster ride of emotions. The week started off with meeting new people, beautiful worship services, and fellowship that included polkaing. As the week came to an end with final plenaries… my emotions did not.
A resolution that meant a lot to me came to the floor. It was committee #12: Resolution calling on the United Church of Board to Bring Bylaws Revisions that Include Non-Binary Gender Language. I have friends who use them/they pronouns and I knew how much this meant to them. So with my handwritten speech in hand, I stepped up to microphone in favor of this resolution. One minute might seem fast, but with shaking hands and voice, a minute seemed like a week. I wanted to speak, I wanted others voice to be heard through my speech, and I hope my message came across. This resolution did pass, but a few minutes later a resolution about table space came to the floor. Youth from Michigan Conference spoke in favor of this resolution and being part of the LGBTQIA+ community, my heart broke from hearing their speech. No one should ever feel the pain of hate or exclusion because of their sexual orientation. That’s why I chose UCC! Because I felt welcomed and I could be who I am! After a long night of prayers, hugs, and tears; we returned to plenary still with pain and questions. The motion was brought forth to table this resolution and was passed, but there was still pain and hurt in the room. I am so blessed to be part of a conference that showed love when I felt hurt. As we moved on our separate ways by train, car, or airplane; I still feel the love shown by the delegates of Missouri Mid-South Conference and I have grown more in my faith.
Find all resolutions in their final form at http://ucceverywhere.org/synod/.