#UCCSynod: No Limit to God’s Love, Embrace, and Call

#UCCSynod: No Limit to God’s Love, Embrace, and Call

One in series of posts by Southern New England Conference delegates to the 34th General Synod of the United Church of Christ.

Greetings friends, followers, and siblings of SNEUCC! General Synod 2023 has been absolutely amazing. Each day I have received encouraging messages of hope, strength, and vision of what the church can be within our society, communities, as well as the world.
As a newer member of the United Church of Christ, and also a person who has always been actively involved in the Black church (which I still hold true to my cultural traditions) all of my life, I am grateful that the UCC and it’s polity holds space for all. Whether I am in agreement, disagreement, or need to be in future discernment  of the position/perspective of my fellow siblings in Christ, the beauty of the UCC is… our polity allows for options. I love having options.
I have greatly enjoyed learning even more about inclusion and where participants see hope, share concern, or even desire to further investigate topics more by keeping an open mind. Last night, I was able to witness and once again experience the move of what some UCC siblings refer to as the “Holy Spirit” but what I as a lifelong member of the Black church experience know as the “Holy Ghost” (same thing friends, do not be alarmed). I have felt free and the divine presence and power of the Holy Ghost move and be made known in every encounter. From the Justice Prayer Walk that lifted up the concerns, griefs, and calls for action and justice to the prophetic words of Rev. Darrell Goodwin who brought a mighty word of hope, inclusivity, and living out your love as he was the keynote speaker at the Open and Affirming Coalition Banquet on Saturday night. Rev. Goodwin helped everyone to know that they are worthy, worth it, and beloved by God! For me, this means that NOTHING can separate me or you from the love of God (not hate, racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, etc.) and God loves you just the way you are. 
There’s no limit to God’s love, embrace, and call upon your life. Beloved, this means we must show God’s love, kindness, and grace in action. My grandma used to say, “You might be the only Jesus that someone will see.” When I was younger (and even now), this statement put things into perspective for me as it was a reality check and an invitation to take self inventory of “What Jesus am I showing?” What Jesus would I want someone to encounter? I personally want people to not only experience the love of God, but also to see Jesus in me. 
That means love, sometime disagreement, a social responsibility to listen as well as act. I may fall short, I may miss the mark at times, but I will still display compassion for people, things, and social issues that impacts others (even if those topics do not directly impact me). I will fight and advocate for justice and be the Jesus I want to see and encounter in our world. This means I am still going to pray, get my praise/shout on, bring my Blackness, same gender loving (gay), pentecostal, and Holy Ghost filled self to the spaces of life and encourage all to do what speaks to them. May it be so! Amen!


Kenny Goodwin-Brice

Kentavis Goodwin-Brice is a member of Liberty Christian Center International in Hartford, CT.

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