Pastor’s Corner: Old News

July 19, 2023

Those of you who receive the Coconut Wireless from the Hawai’i Conference UCC or the UCC News Digest of the national setting are probably familiar with the actions taken by the 34th General Synod two weeks ago. My apologies for sharing “old news!”

I took great joy in seeing the election of the Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson to the office of General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ. She is the first woman and the first immigrant to take that role in the UCC, and the third person of color. She preached at Church of the Holy Cross in 2016 the morning after the terrible mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. I can never forget the way she set aside the sermon she’d prepared and spoke from her overflowing heart.

Delegates narrowly decided to change the frequency of Synod meetings, moving from every two years to every three beginning in 2025. The shift acknowledges the heavy burden the event places on the church’s finances and staff time. Given the palpable joy displayed by people so delighted to gather again as the pandemic recedes, it was a vote taken with regret.

Among the resolutions, one coming from the Hawai’i Conference related to procedures for authorizing Licensed and Commissioned Ministers had already been accepted by the national office related to those, and was affirmed by the Synod. Two others coming from the Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches related to the history of boarding schools and a developing shift in Hawaiian language teaching were both approved.

I’ll have some more to say about Synod in the next couple weeks, and you can find out much more at

In peace,

Pastor Eric

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: | Posted on July 19, 2023

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