Whew! I can't believe I've only been in Grand Rapids for a little over 5 hours!
Being a first time delegate is not easy, let me tell you! There's been a lot of uncertainty for me in the last few hours; trying to figure out where I'm going, who I'm supposed to talk to, where to sit! oy!
Still, it's been exhilarating, and the first Plenary session reminded me why I agreed to do this in the first place - seeing all these UCCer's in one place, coming together to work towards a common goal of creating a denomination, and, thereby, a world, we can be proud of. Enough to bring tears to my eyes.
And it did. A few times.
Okay, I was gonna tell you about all the (boring) business talk that went on... but I have to tell you about my favorite part so far!
One of the newer traditions at Synod is to recognize all the new church starts that we've had since the last Synod (they happen every two years, in case you were wondering). This time around there were 70 churches to celebrate!
70! Woohoo! Seeing all the people parading up to the stage, carrying signs with their new church's name; the excitement of the processors and the crowd; the corny music - it all came together, and I definitely welled up a few times.
There was even a big bunny! The bunny was there to illustrate the way churches can multiply. We learned that:
Vital Churches Multiply!
Some of the other things we heard about:
- Credentials Committee encourages Conferences and local churches to increase the Under 30s membership, as well as the membership of People of Color - this was approved - duh!
- No more printed UCC news after September - online and a twice-yearly magazine instead!
- Speech from the nominee for Officer of the United Church of Christ and Executive Minister of Local Church Ministries - this was very inspiring, and made me want to go home and reach out right NOW!
Well, that's about it for now. Wait, there was one more thing...
Oh yeah! I found out where we'll be for GS28 - Tampa, FL! I'm excited because I don't think I would ever take time to go to Florida otherwise ;)
I'll try and get something in tonight after the Plenary/Worship and Young Adult Reception, so check back in the morning!
p.s. We had some good music, too! Of course, I don't have my camera with me, so this video from last Synod will have to do ya!