Day three of General Synod is a wrap -- here are some of my thoughts for today:
- Community Groups: I loved the Sunday morning small group gathering at the Holiday Inn East Hartford for a time to sing, (I brought my guitar -- we had a lively time!) pray, and reflect on our feelings about the 5 historic commitments of the UCC. (united and uniting, multiracial and multicultural, accessible to all, open and affirming, and a peace with justice church) We had prayerful and thoughtful discussion about "A Message to the Churches" that the General Synod plans to approve and send out just after Synod.
- Congregational Vitality Initiative Luncheon: I got to meet more vibrant and passionate people and had a lot of fun as the presentations were filled with wit and comedy while still expressing joy and hope about the future of the United Church of Christ.
- Sunday Afternoon Worship: This one wasn't my favorite. Things moved along very slowly and it seems there was a lack of energy in the house. I did, however, get the chills when the Synod Choir (700 voices strong!) sang James Ahrend's "Let it Shine." (I also took this picture that shows how large the crowd is -- The time exposure washed out the stage.)
- Dinner out: Jeff, Megan, Steve and Joanna and I had a great time of eating, drinking and conversation at the City Steam Brewery. Who knew there was a beer called "The Naughty Nurse?"
- Significant "face time" with several i.guides (Andy, Kimberly, Dea, Ryan and T. Michael) from i.ucc: Until this week, most of us had never met in person. Tonight we got to sit in an outdoor cafe and talk about ideas and experiences from i.ucc. I also participated for only the second time in our real-time prayer chapel. Even in the middle of a whole lot of noise I experienced God's presence and was really moved by our community prayer time.
Still two more great days to go!