“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” – Micah 6: 7

In an ever more polarizing world, our national Church, the United Church of Christ, recently celebrated the end of General Synod 2017. Every two years, thousands from across the United States and abroad come together for a week long session that seeks to celebrate the diversity and democratic roots of our denomination.

This year’s General Synod was held in Baltimore, Maryland and was given the title “Make Glad,” a title that brings into light the struggles that we, as followers of Christ will have in the coming years to gladly stand up for justice and mercy, to truly love one another, and to begin closing the gap between us and them.

It was during this time at General Synod on the eve of celebrations for Independence Day, that our church passed extraordinary measures that will ensure that God’s Still Speaking Voice will continue to ring true at the core of our mission and witness.

On Monday, July 3, the delegates from our local congregations across the United States, passed with a 97% in favor, a resolution declaring “The Earth is the Lord’s-Not Ours to Wreck.” The resolution calls on UCC clergy, churches and members to speak with no reservations about the truth of Climate Change and the Biblical imperative that we as followers of Christ have to protect the Earth and all of Creation. This is a move that calls on us to speak freely from our pulpits and in the public sphere about our responsibility to come together not just as one Christian voice, but as one people of Earth to save and ensure that this world will be a viable one for generations to come.

The second resolution that was passed was one relating to Economic Justice. This year at General Synod, delegates voted in favor for Churches to advocate and support legislations that raises the minimum wages to $15 per hour. The final resolution was a combination of two economic justice resolutions that were brought to the floor for consideration. This move will ensure that local conferences and congregations will begin to have an open dialogue on how to fully live up to that calling. Rev. George Miller, a Florida Delegate said, “I don’t think we can tell others what to do in their homes until we’re taking care of our homes first.”

Debates such as these and the resolutions that were passed makes me very proud to be part of a national church that is in tune with not just the needs of others and the rights of neighbors, but is truly trying to listen to the Still Speaking voice of God. A voice that calls us to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God and one another.

We are UCC!
Harold Sloan-Marrero
Director of Media and Outreach