Church folk are well acquainted with committee work. It seems fitting then that your delegates to General Synod 29 would get one good day of committee time in as we gather to celebrate all that makes our denomination what it is. I am serving on Committee 13, a group of around 40 delegates tasked with discerning our church’s witness with regards to comprehensive immigration reform.Today our committee made a few amendments to our resolution, a self-identified grammarian helped us overcome some stilted syntax, and then we voted unanimously to send our resolution to the floor of Synod for a vote of the gathered body.

One major function of resolutions to Synod is to initiate conversations in our churches, and I saw those conversations coming to life today. This is, I think, the peculiar beauty to church committees. In a session steered by Robert’s Rules, people stood up and shared things that mattered deeply to them. People told personal stories of migration and pastors shared challenges they have faced in their communities. In conducting a rather straightforward piece of business, we began to connect with one another as small points in the picture of God’s unfolding justice. We began to hear between our words, the insistent voice of the still speaking God.

Over the next two days, Synod will discern how it wishes to speak to the United Church of Christ. It will relay to our churches what tug we have felt from God in our time together. Look through the resolutions, my guess is that at least one of them will spark another surprising and beautiful conversation amongst God’s people. (The resolutions up for consideration at Synod can be found at:


John Charles Allen

The Rev. John Allen is the Pastor of the First Congregational Church, UCC in Milton.

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