2019 General Synod Delegate Summary:

Joe Rowley

I had the privilege of being on Committee 4.  We discussed a resolution to begin a listening campaign to reach out to all the local conferences of the UCC, and bring back new recommendations to General Synod 33 (2021) to change how General Synods work.  Our committee recommended and General Synod approved a simplified version of the original resolution.  The simplified version gives responsibility to the UCC General Board and Council of Conference Ministers to figure out the details, and to bring a plan for this to General Synod 33 in Kansas City. 

Summary of your General Synod experience.  

General Synod 32 was an intense experience!  This was my first General Synod, so I didn't know what to expect.  The preachers and keynote speaker were so inspiring, and so compelling, that I never made it through a whole sermon with dry eyes.  Having been in student ministry, seminary, and ministry for the past 18 years in two different states and 5+ churches, I saw familiar faces from around the country that I hadn't seen in years.  As good as it was to reunite, it was also amazing how complete strangers were like long lost relatives, because we United Church of Christ folks share a certain kinship of peculiarity.  Regarding the business of the committee and in the general plenary meetings, I was amazed at how much like-minded agreement there could be on so many of the issues.  At the same time, there could be fierce debate and disagreement about other important resolutions and issues.  Now that I'm home again and looking back at General Synod, I'm more proud than ever of our United Church of Christ.  The highlights of the synod experience for me were the inspiration, relationship building and renewing, and feeling more fully connected to our wider church.  Please join the inspiring fun (and work) of General Synod 33 in Kansas City in 2021!