#UCCSynod: Those OH-SO-EARLY Caucuses

#UCCSynod: Those OH-SO-EARLY Caucuses

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

I am not a morning person, though I play one on Sunday mornings. Also, on caucus days during General Synod. I could be snarky and say that it’s the provided breakfasts (and coffee, lots and lots of coffee) that get me out of bed far too early on three days of a very busy five, but the reality is that caucus time is an essential part of being a good, informed, effective General Synod delegate.
At each caucus, we hear from presenters about resolutions coming before the body for a vote. Sometimes, the presenters are the actual proposers, as when we heard about the New Hampshire Conference resolution on plastics and the Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches resolution on the preservation of the Hawaiian language. Sometimes, these presenters are from national staff who cannot advocate for or against any resolution but who can inform us about the background and current UCC work regarding resolutions. This morning we heard from a policy intern in the UCC’s Washington, D.C., Office of Public Policy & Advocacy about solitary confinement in US prisons, which is related to a resolution on which we will be voting before the end of Synod (presumably). We also heard about the proposed change in frequency of Synod from biennial to triennial, brought via amendments to the bylaws by the UCC Board. These presentations, though short, make what we’re going to be discussing and discerning action upon more real and in many cases, more personal than we experienced even as we dissected and reconstituted those resolutions in committees. These short story telling sessions help us prepare for the floor debates on resolutions and other actions brought before General Synod.
Caucus time is also helpful for announcements about events from our SNEUCC staff who is here both to shepherd us and to serve as delegates. We all know it takes at least five encounters with information before it “sticks”, so hearing the details about our delegation dinner out loud will help to reinforce the text messages we will no doubt get tomorrow before we leave the convention center at the end of the last business plenary. Something tells me we will also get basic information about the shuttles to the Indianapolis airport on Wednesday tomorrow… also well-reinforced by text messages tomorrow into Wednesday.
The other fun thing about these early caucuses is that we get to see who really is a morning person and who truly is not. It’s hard to fake more than once in a five day period. There are some people who clearly wake up and bounce out of bed easily, perhaps even singing and dancing. Then there are people like me who can’t say “Good’ before “morning” until at least a cup of coffee has gone down the hatch. Today, it’s going to take more than the coffee to wake me up enough…


Ruth E. Shaver

The Rev. Dr. Ruth Shaver is the Old Colony Association Moderator, Bridge Interim Pastor of Lakeville UCC (Lakeville, MA) and North Congregational Church UCC (Middleboro, MA) and a member of Second Congregational Church UCC, Attleboro, MA.  

Subscribe to our emails
Massachusetts Office

1 Badger Road
Framingham, MA 01702

Connecticut Office

805 Old Main St.
Rocky Hill, CT 06067

Toll Free Phone: 866-367-2822
Fax: 866-367-0860
General Email: friends@sneucc.org