By Ian Tosh
Moderator, First Church Somerville, UCC
General Synod Delegate
I arrived in Tampa late yesterday after a long plane ride. As soon as we left the airport, in the airport shuttle, it started. People at Synod just have away of carrying themselves; it makes you want to say, "Hi, what conference are you from?"
In this manner I met my shuttle mates: four from the New York Conference, two from California/Nevada South, one from the Illinois Conference. We shared some celebrations about the recent action by the New York State legislature. The folks from NY shared stories about the reporters coming to their church to talk about their work in the GLBT community. The rest of us talked about our churches having become ONA, or struggling to become ONA.
After arriving and checking I went downstairs to have some dinner. While sitting at a table of 8 (5 of whom I had not met before today) I had a great conversation about the differences in understanding of the sacraments between the UCC and the DoC (Disciples of Christ). This is the kind of conversation that just pops up. It occurs to me that this could pop up more often, but it is just so natural here.
These are the kinds of interactions that just happen at Synod because we are together in one place. You do not need to schedule them, or plan them, or have a facilitator. You just gather people together who have a common faith, and a common understanding and these things just happen.
Today I will get registered, and have my first educational session about the resolution I will be working most closely with, A Covenant for Church Youth Leaders. Enough talk, let the work begin!
Ian Tosh is Moderator of the Southern New England Conference and a member of First Church in Somerville, MA.