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PNC delegates to General Synod report on people, resolutions

With many resolutions, decisions, speeches and worship services online at, the General Synod report by Tim Devine, conference moderator and pastor at St. Paul’s UCC in Seattle, emphasized PNC people who attended.

Synod events included honoring the work of Carol Stanley of Eastgate UCC in Bellevue on Local Church Ministries, Chris Hanson of Peshastin on the Executive Council and Bing Tso of Plymouth on Wider Church Ministries as those boards end.

mike denton at synod

Conference Minister Mike Denton sits with the PNC delegation. Photos provided courtesy of the United Church of Christ

David Anderson of University and St. Paul’s in Seattle was staff support to the committee process team.

Kevin Peterson of Wayside and Conference Minister Mike Denton were installed to the new UCC Board.

Darrell Goodwin represented Liberation UCC as it was officially welcomed with other new churches into the denomination.

Lisa Horst Clark of Bellevue First was at synod through the Pension Boards “20/30” young clergy program. 

Caucusing as delegates were Nick CastroLang of Westminster in Spokane, Sophia Crapson of Ritzville, Dee Eisenharer of Eagle Harbor at Bainbridge Island, Bill Stanley of Eastgate in Bellevue, and Kristine and Leda Zakarison of Community Congregational in Pullman.

darrell goodwin

Darrell Goodwin, pastor of Liberation UCC, holds up "A" in the center of "Extravagance!"

Tim participated in a pre-Synod workshop for current conference moderators and consulted with former moderators at Synod, including Kristine and Joanne Shockley of Ritzville.

Kathryn Murdock of University in Seattle shared her passion about being a Young Adult Service Community participant in a speakout. 

Meighan Pritchard (Prospect/Seattle) was one of four speakers on the Mission 4/1 Earth initiative.

Megan Lee Osborn Snell, a seminary student introducing the offering to support the UCC scholarship ministry at the closing worship, said she is preparing for military chaplaincy and received the Clint Cannon scholarship.  

Tim joined in a marriage equality rally with local people who had just learned courts had removed the last questions about overturning Proposition 8 in California and they could marry.  

Bill Stanley, fourth-time attendee and first-time delegate, appreciated pondering issues behind the 17 resolutions.

“I could support some without hesitation, but some made me pause to consider the ramifications of where they would lead,” he said.

Resolutions included divesting from fossil fuel companies, protesting mountaintop removal coal mining, opposing bullying in any setting, repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery that led to genocide of Native Americans, resisting efforts to undermine the status of women, supporting Outdoor Ministries, supporting church buildings being carbon neutral, restructuring conference boundaries, addressing drug-related gang violence in Honduras, supporting compassionate and comprehensive immigration reform, advocating tax reform, providing care and healing to veterans, advocating funds to build quality and affordable housing, recognizing Samoans as a Historically Underrepresented Group and a member of the Council for Racial and Ethnic Ministries, and calling for an all-church offering to support educational expenses of a member in discernment preparing for authorized ministry in the UCC.  Texts are at ucc/org/synod/resolutions.

Milling around 3,000 UCC members Bill said he felt a “sense of the power and faithful determination of this denomination, listening to our still-speaking God.”

Dee Eisenhauer, synod delegate, found theological reflections by Rita Nakashima Brock and Quin Caldwell “stimulating, prophetic and encouraging” and the artistry in worship services “stunning” with the interplay of light, photos, dancers and technology.

“It was inspiring to experience a 21st century vibe in worship,” she said.

She found Synod had a family reunion feeling as she encountered people who served in the PNC in the past, and speakers and leaders at PNC conferences and events.

Dee was moved by the passion of young adults from Montana concerned about the impact of divestment from fossil fuel on miners in their state.

“While I didn’t agree with their viewpoint, I was impressed by their courage and faithfulness at such a young age,” she said. “I’m proud of a church whose ethic so often supports going against the tide of popular opinion.”

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Bing Tso speaks as he retires from the former Wider Church ministries Board.

Bing Tso, a member of Plymouth Seattle and former chair of the Wider Church Ministries Board, joined a pre-synod consultation with religious leaders from around the world discussing global migration at Centro Romero near the U.S.-Mexican border.

“We are not alone among nations, unfortunately, in the injustice and militarization of our borders,” he observed.

His wife, Janet Gwilym, met with others active in immigration issues and wants to set up a UCC-wide network of support and information-sharing—

Bing participated in the last steps to put unified governance—with one board, rather than several—in place at the national setting. He hopes a more nimble, coordinated board will serve the UCC better.

He was pleased to see funding mechanisms spring forth—such as the Testimony Fund for new and renewing churches, and the Haystack Society for wider mission globally and locally.

As his term with WCM ended, he savored conversations with UCC friends, new and old, from around the country and the world, aware he will miss this extended family.

This General Synod was Nick CastroLang’s third one, second as a delegate.  He found it less stressful than the last one, when delegates voted to change the national UCC structure.

He enjoyed renewing contact with people. 

Nick, a member of Westminster UCC in Spokane, said that part of the reason he is majoring in political science at the University of Idaho in Moscow is because the UCC cares about social justice.

“The church gave me direction when I was unsure what I wanted to do,” he said.

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Copyright © September 2013 - Pacific Northwest Conference UCC News


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