Monday, April 20, 2009

It's Resolution Season

As I've mentioned before, I'll be a delegate to General Synod in Grand Rapids this summer, part of which means that I am entrusted with the task of reviewing and voting on a series of resolutions that will come to the floor during our business sessions.

What do these resolutions do, you may ask? Well, there are two kinds of resolutions that are written and presented. The first is a Resolution of Witness, which is exactly what it sounds like: a statement to our churches and the rest of the world that the General Synod (not the UCC, mind you...learn your polity) affirms or supports or condemns whatever-it-is that the resolution says. And then there are Prudential Resolutions, which are more practical in nature and establish policy or procedure.

But in the grand scheme of things? These resolutions probably won't actually do much of anything. I'm cynical like that, I guess. Every once in a while, a resolution like the ones on marriage equality at Synod 25 in Atlanta come along that get everyone's attention, but for the most part the churches that like them will do something with them, and everyone else will keep doing what they've always done.  This is my fourth trip, and if I'm being honest, I just looked down the list of resolutions this year with a tired sigh.

Nevertheless, I offer up my own analysis of the resolutions tentatively being proposed for General Synod 27. I say "tentatively," because they don't always seem to make it to the floor, even if they make it to this point. The full text of each one can be found here. They are as follows:

The Controversial: Options to War Against Iran, Axis of Friendship with Iran, Health Care Reform, In Support of Physician Aid in Dying

The Mildly Divisive: Mediating Climate Change, Acting on Climate Change, Human Trafficking, A Call for Study of Our Church's Involvement in the Eugenics Movement, NAFTA, HIV Prevention, Global Food Crisis, Iraqi Refugees

The Practical: Responsible Meeting Practice, A Call to Be Global Mission Churches, Justice Town Hall Gatherings

The Fluffy: An Economic Justice Covenant, Sacred Conversations on Race, Affirming the Accra Confession, Ecumenical Commitments in the United Church of Christ

I'll take one of these categories at a time over the next two weeks or so and give a few thoughts. As a delegate, this helps me work through them. CoffeeNation tends not to pay too much attention, but that's okay. Even if I'm just talking to myself here, it helps me work out some things heading up to the voting process.