Sunday, June 24, 2007

General Synod

Busy days are in order because the United Church of Christ is celebrating its 50th birthday at its annual meeting in Hartford and I've been attending. Today was day 2 of 5.

Today's buzz was all about Senator Obama. Unfortunately, like Barack's own pastor, I had to miss his speech since I was elsewhere officiating a wedding. It was very lovely and through the wonders of the Internet I don't have to miss the speech...and neither do you. You can view it here or you can read the text here

The part of the day that I did attend that was incredibly inspiring was the address by Bill Moyers. In addition to his credentials as a first-rate journalist with impeccable integrity, he also has earned a Masters of Divinity and that showed in his talk this morning. He reminded us that Jesus saw the corruption in the temple and "threw the rascals out." He called on us to do the same with the corrupt leaders in our goverment for the sake of preserving democracy. You can read more about his talk by following the link in the UCC headlines section that has been newly added to our church web site at

I also attended a stimulating talk about on-line social networking and the implications for the way our youth are learning to socialize. It is a little hard to unpack that in this email, but I am very interested in this topic and will try to involve our youth more in this area. One interesting development is that there is now a UCC church under construction in Second Life. If that means nothing to you, don't fret, but if you already know about Second Life, check out the island of Xenia and look for Sophianne Rhode.

Tonight the birthday party for the denomination included a tribute to the inventor of the laser, who is a member of a UCC congregation. He spoke to us about the compatibility and similarity of religion and science. We also got to see a flashy demonstration of his invention. Here is some video:

I need to do a lot of digesting and review my notes to be able to post some responses. Tomorrow is a time for a huge worship service, I can't wait!

Read a daily digest of the activities at General Synod here and check out the headlines section of that page for more stories.


David J said...

Ian, what I find fascinating as I always do is that I usually end of agreeing with folks like Bill Moyers even though I am probably way to the right of him collectively speaking. It would have been an awesome thing to hear either Barak or Moyers speak at the Synod. The UCC is clearly part of the Emergent Church movement that has sprung up. The leaders in the denomination really have ratcheted up the idea that God is still at work, still speaking and still doing marvelous things. I think those in the evangelical movement would be wise to emulate that approach. The Calvinists have kind of taken the surprise out of what God is able to do. Your post shows your excitement for your denomination. The fact that they have this line up of speakers shows that they are a spiritual and political force to take note of. I for one, think this is a church on the move.

Ian said...

Dave, you can find links to both speeches here