Reports to the Thirty-first General Synod

1. Report Regarding the Covenanted Ministry Governing Documents

The proposed amendments to the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of each of the Covenanted Ministries are being presented to the delegates of General Synod to fulfill the requirements of those governing documents that amendments to certain articles and paragraphs be presented to General Synod even though General Synod does not vote on them. The purpose of the proposed amendments is to make these governing documents consistent with the United Church of Christ Constitution and Bylaws should General Synod vote to enact the proposed amendments to the United Church of Christ Constitution and Bylaws. The proposed amendments to the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the Covenanted Ministries will be voted upon by the Board of Directors of each of the Covenanted Ministries (the United Church of Christ Board of Directors) at the October 2017 United Church of Christ Board Meeting, providing General Synod votes to enact the proposed amendments to the United Church of Christ Constitution and Bylaws.

Amended Articles of Incorporation of Justice and Witness Ministries [pdf]
Bylaws of the Corporation: Justice and Witness Ministries [pdf]
Local Church Ministries Bylaws & Articles of Incorporation [pdf]
Amended Articles of Organization of Wider Church Ministries [pdf]
Bylaws of the Corporation: Wider Church Ministries [pdf]

2. First Report of the General Synod Nominating Committee

By unanimous vote, the Thirtieth-first General Synod Nominating Committee has selected the following 12 members of the United Church of Christ for nomination as members at-large and is placing their names for election before the Thirtieth-first General Synod, meeting June 30-July 4, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland for election to the United Church of Christ Board of Directors.

These outstanding individuals will join the other 24 members at large and the 16 ex officio members now serving.

Each person that came before the Nominating Committee was carefully and individually considered and references for each candidate were checked. The Committee was blessed with a deep and rich pool of nominees of superior ability, attributes, skills and experience. With the election of these highly-qualified members of the United Church of Christ we succeed in exceeding the diversity requirement for the Board of Directors, as outlined in the Bylaws.

The members of the Committee give thanks to God for the quality and dedication of the members of the Church it had to choose from and it is with high esteem that we present these outstanding individuals for election to the United Church of Christ Board of Directors.

Rev. Dan De Leon
Chair-The Thirtieth-first General Synod Nominating Committee
February 21, 2017

Candidates Nominated for Election to the United Church of Christ Board of Directors
Demographic Make-up of the United Church of Christ Board of Directors for the 2017-2019 Biennium

3. Report of the Special Committee on Selection

By unanimous vote, the Special Committee on Selection has chosen the following five members of the United Church of Christ for nomination and election to the General Synod Nominating Committee by the Thirty-first General Synod, meeting June 30-July 4, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland.

These outstanding individuals will join the other nine members, now serving, elected by Synod to a six year term. They, along with two others from the Board of Directors and appointed by the Chair of the Board of Directors to two-year terms, will comprise the General Synod Nominating Committee for the 2017-2019 biennium.

Each person who came before the Special Committee was carefully and individually considered. The Special Committee was blessed with an abundance of highly skilled and faithful members of the United Church of Christ, willing to serve on this all-important body. With the election of these highly-qualified members of the United Church of Christ, we succeed in not only meeting the diversity requirement of the General Synod Nominating Committee as outlined in the Bylaws, but also providing for a truly outstanding and gifted group of leaders to handle this important work of the Church.

The demographic composition of the 2017-2019 General Synod Nominating Committee is linked below the biographies of the nominees.

The members of the Special Committee on Selection give thanks to all those who put forth their names for consideration.

Members of the Special Committee on Selection
Dale Bonds-Chair, United Church of Christ Board of Directors
Frank Bolden-Vice Chair, United Church of Christ Board of Directors
Geoff Brace-Governance Committee Chair, United Church of Christ Board of Directors
Caroline Belsom-Governance Committee Vice Chair, United Church of Christ Board of Directors

Candidates Selected for Election to the General Synod Nominating Committee
Demographic Make-up of the General Synod Nominating Committee for the 2017-2019 Biennium

4. Report Regarding the Election of an Executive Minister-Justice and Witness Ministries

On March 9, 2017 The United Church of Christ Board of Directors, sitting as the Justice and Witness Ministries Board of Directors, nominated for election by the Thirty-first General Synod the selection of its Search Committee, the Rev. Traci Blackmon of the Missouri Mid-South Conference for a four-year term as Executive Minister of Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ and submits its nomination for consideration by delegates to the Thirty-first General Synod, meeting June 30-July 4, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Lee Foley
Corporate Secretary-Justice and Witness Ministries Board of Directors
March 27, 2017

5. Second Report of the General Synod Nominating Committee

The General Synod Nominating Committee has completed its work in regard to the selection of candidates for election by delegates in Baltimore to the high positions of Moderator and Assistant Moderator of the Thirty-second General Synod to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2019. When elected, the nominees will serve in their respective positions for the next two years, their Ex-officio membership on the United Church of Christ Board of Directors among their responsibilities. The Moderator will Chair the Board’s General Synod Programing and Planning Committee which advises the Synod Administration on the design of Synod.

By unanimous vote the Committee is recommending the elevation of the current Assistant Moderator, Mr. Norman Williams, for election as Moderator. Mr. Williams has served with distinction and grace for the past two years as Assistant Moderator and will serve ably as Moderator. Mr. Williams is an African American lay male and is a member of the Church of the Good Sheppard Congregational in Chicago. He is a banker and a principal in a family-owned chain of funeral homes. Mr. Williams currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Theological Seminary. Mr. Williams brings extensive financial and management expertise to the position of Moderator.

The Committee has selected and nominates for election by delegates to the Thirty-first General Synod the Rev. Penny Lowes of Rochester, Michigan as Assistant Moderator of the Thirty-second General Synod. Rev. Lowes is a European American female holding Ordained Ministerial Standing. She has recently retired from parish ministry. She is a member of St. Paul United Church of Christ in Warren, Michigan. Rev. Lowes is uniquely qualified for the position of Assistant Moderator with an extensive history of service to the National Setting of the United Church Christ. She is a former Chair of the Executive Council, serving as the last Chair of that body prior to the enactment of the new governance structure in 2013.

The Committee wishes to thank each candidate it considered for the two positions. We were blessed with a wonderful field of highly qualified and gifted members of the United Church of Christ who offered their service, and it is with thanks to God for the opportunity we now have to recommend for election as Moderator and Assistant Moderator Mr. Williams and Rev. Lowes, respectively.

In Christ,
Rev. Dan De Leon
Chair, The Thirty-first General Synod Nominating Committee
April 25, 2017

6. Giving Taskforce Report to the Development Committee and the Board of Directors of the United Church of Christ. [pdf]

7. The First Report of the Implementing Body on the 2015 Resolution Urging a Transition from Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy.

8. Report of the Implementing Body on the 2015 Resolution-A Call for the United Church of Christ to Take Action Toward a Just Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. [pdf]

9. Mandated Report on Salaries. [pdf]

10. First Report of the Board of Directors. [pdf]