Resolutions for Consideration by General Synod 32

A Resolution to Abolish the Growth and Existence of Private Prisons

Submitted by: the Illinois Conference and the Chicago Metropolitan Association of the Illinois Conference
Summary: This resolution calls the national setting of the UCC to enable local churches and conferences to raise consciousness on the issue of private prisons, advocate against proposals for laws that support the increase of the inmate population of privately held or operated prisons, and “actively identify investors or suppliers of privately owned or operated prisons and take action to divest and advocate for divestment from support of said businesses.”

A Resolution on Ecumenical Relationship between the United Church of Christ and the Iglesia Evangelica Unida de Puerto Rico (IEUPR)

Submitted by: the United Church of Christ Board
Summary:This resolution recognizes and celebrates a new ecumenical relationship between the United Church of Christ and the Iglesia Evangelica Unida de Puerto Rico (United Evangelical Church in Puerto Rico) and creates a committee that will explore the plan to move this relationship toward a deeper commitment that reflects visible unity in the church. This commitment will offer the closest possible relationship while each church retains its autonomy.

Reaffirming the United Church of Christ’s Commitment to Interreligious Relations, and Deploring Religious Bigotry

Submitted by: the United Church of Christ Board
Summary: This resolution is a reaffirmation of the UCC’s calling to engage in interreligious dialogue and relations, to denounce religiously-motivated bigotry, and to commend to UCC members and settings the document, “A Just World for All: Engaging with All God’s Creation and Calling the UCC to Live Inter-Religiously” for study, reflection, and action.

Addressing the State of Global Forced Migration

Submitted by: the United Church of Christ Board
Summary: This calls the UCC to continue to pray and learn about the current state of global migration, to take actions related to U.S. policy, and to support global and domestic partners engaged in response; and it affirms our rejection of attitudes, discourse, and actions that discriminate based on any aspect of identity.

Establishing an Action Team to Conduct a Listening Campaign and Bring Recommendations on the Future of Christian Witness at General Synod

Submitted by: Emma Brewer-Wallin, United Church of Christ Board; Rev. Diane Weible, United Church of Christ Board of Directors; Rev. Amelia Nugent, Massachusetts Conference; Rev. Matt Carriker, Massachusetts Conference; Rev. Mark Longhurst, Massachusetts Conference; Rev. Diane Johnson, Northern California Nevada Conference; Amelia Becker, Massachusetts Conference; Barbara Colliander, Northern California Nevada Conference; Rev. Jim CastroLang, Pacific Northwest Conference; Rev. Kent Gilbert, Indiana-Kentucky Conference; Casey Ream, Northern California Nevada Conference; Jonathan Guest, Massachusetts Conference
Summary: This resolution calls for an Action Team to embark on a listening campaign throughout the church in order to “reevaluate the manner in which we discern and carry out our wider church Christian witness through General Synod.” The Action Team will make a recommendation in time for deliberation at General Synod 33.

Resolution Regarding the Use of Plastic Foam (i.e. Styrofoam®)

Submitted by: the Penn Central Conference
Summary:This resolution encourages Conferences, Associations, congregations, and individuals to avoid the use of plastic foam within their church and church-related facilities and encourage the use of alternatives.

Denouncing Acts of Violence, Hatred, and Racism Carried Out in the Name of Neo-Nazi and White Supremacist Ideologies

Submitted by: the Connecticut Conference
Summary:This resolution notes the increase in hate speech and hate crimes since 2016 and calls upon UCC congregations to “denounce all forms of white supremacist hatred; . . . stand in solidarity with those who are the targets of such hatred, . . . [and] collaborate with other faith communities in such efforts.”

Designating the Mental Health Network of the United Church of Christ as a Historically Underrepresented Group

Submitted by: UCC Disabilities Ministries
Summary: This resolution advocates designating the UCC’s Mental Health a Historically Underrepresented Group (HUG) so that it “can empower persons living with mental health challenges and ensure that those impacted by them are not only heard, but also given a seat at the table and empowered with not only a voice, but with a vote.”

The Colectivo de UCC Latinx Ministries Requests to be Recognized as a Historically Underrepresented Group

Submitted by: the Council for Hispanic Ministries (CHM), Council for American Indian Ministry, Ministers for Racial, Social, and Economic Justice, Pacific Islander Asian American Ministries, United Black Christians, United Samoan Ministries, Council for Racial and Ethnic Ministries (COREM)
Summary:The resolution calls for the establishment of the Colectivo de UCC Latinx Ministries, a leadership body in covenant with the UCC comprised of UCC congregations, associations, and conferences; ecumenical and interfaith partners; and community-based organizations. It requests that the Colectivo be recognized as a Historically Underrepresented Group taking the place of the UCC Council for Hispanic Ministries through an Amendment to the UCC Bylaws and that the Colectivo become a member of the Council for Racial and Ethnic Ministries (COREM). This resolution comes at the request of the Council for Hispanic Ministries.

On Recognizing Opioid Addiction as a Health Epidemic, Ensuring Access to Treatment and Pharmaceutical Corporate Responsibility

Submitted by: the Council for Health and Human Service Ministries
Summary: This resolution calls all settings of the UCC to recognize opioid addiction as a health epidemic, calls on Congress to increase Medicare and Medicaid funding to treat opioid addiction, and urges all settings of the UCC to “use all manner of activism, including shareholder activism of opioid pharmaceutical manufacturers and distribution corporations, to hold accountable those who are acting in bad faith with the American people, either by irresponsibly marketing, distributing, and prescribing to individuals or by criminalizing those who become addicted.”

 TA1 Motion to General Synod 32

Submitted by: the Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island Conferences
Summary: This motion asks General Synod to recognize a new Conference in Southern New England and vicinity, provisionally called the “TA1 Conference of the United Church of Christ,” and to grant it standing as a Conference of the United Church of Christ, terminating the standing of the Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island Conferences, the Associations of which will become Associations of the new Conference.

Stewardship of Exhibit Space as a Resource for a Mission of Justice

Submitted by: the Michigan Conference
Summary:This resolution seeks to ensure that General Synod Exhibit Hall displays are consistent with UCC declarations, core values, and resolutions. It asks that “no group . . . working against civil and human rights for LGBTQ people or any other constituency shall be allowed exhibit space in General Synod halls.” It asks that Synod “[reject]the mission of Faithful and Welcoming Churches as it relates to denying the full civil rights and ecclesiastical standing of LGBTQ persons and affirm[s] that the United Church of Christ motto, “That they may all be one,” precludes giving voice to bigotry.”

 Supporting Survivors of Rape and Sexual Violence Through An Ongoing Church-Wide 2 Observance of Break The Silence Sunday (BTSS)

Submitted by: St. John’s UCC of Cecil, WI, with the concurrence of Trinity UCC of Shiocton, WI; St. John’s UCC of Black Creek, WI; Orchard Hill UCC of Chillicote, OH; Valley City Congregational UCC of Valley City, ND; Westmoreland Congregational UCC of Bethesda, MD; Second Christian Congregational UCC of Kittery, ME; Bethesda UCC of Bethesda, MD; First Congregational UCC of Rochester, NH; Alfred Parish Church UCC of Alfred, ME; Trinity UCC of Manchester, MD; Claremont UCC of Claremont, CA; Epiphany UCC of St. Louis, MO; Berkeley Chinese Community Church UCC of Berkeley, CA; First Congregational UCC of Grand Junction, CO; First Congregational UCC of Indianapolis, IN; Immanuel UCC of West Bend, WI; Chinese Congregational Church UCC of San Francisco, CA; Pilgrim UCC of Grafton, WI; Peace UCC of Webster Groves, MO; Wisconsin Conference UCC; and the Penn Northeast Conference UCC
Summary: This resolution asks General Synod to call upon the national church leadership, Conferences, Associations, and local churches to speak out in support of survivors of rape and sexual violence, and that the national setting add Break The Silence Sunday (BTSS) to its calendar on the fourth Sunday of April.

Calling for the United States to pull “Back from The Brink” and Prevent Nuclear War

Submitted by: First Churches of Northampton, UCC&ABC, Northampton, MA; West Cummington Congregational Church, UCC, West Cummington MA; First Congregational Church, UCC, Ashfield, MA; Haydenville Congregational Church, UCC, Haydenville, MA; Christ Congregational Church, UCC, Princeton, NJ; and Saint Andrew Church, UCC, Sarasota, FL.
Summary: This resolution calls on the United Church of Christ to strengthen its historic work for a world free of nuclear weapons by endorsing the Back from the Brink Campaign (BFTB) and its five principles, and issue a call for the United States to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and urges the National setting, conferences, associations, and local churches to convey this message to policymakers.

Discerning, Articulating, and Resourcing the Nature, Purpose, Composition, Covenantal Autonomy, and Definition of ‘the basic unit of life and organization of the United Church of Christ’ for the Twenty-first Century

Submitted by: the Southwest Conference
Summary: This resolution calls for a UCC-wide discernment process, undertaken by a working group convened by the UCC Board and the General Minister and President, regarding Article V of the Constitution: the nature, purpose, composition, covenantal autonomy, and definition of “Local Church” as “the basic unit of life and organization of the United Church of Christ.” The resolution also calls for articulation of revisions to the Constitution of the United Church of Christ predicated on that discernment process’s outcome, and the production of a resource to help local churches live more fully into the obligations of covenantal autonomy.

Resolution Calling Upon the United Church of Christ Board to Bring Bylaws Revisions that Include Non-Binary Gender Language

Submitted by: the Southern California Nevada Conference
Summary: This resolution calls upon the United Church of Christ Board (UCCB) to bring bylaws revisions to the 2021 General Synod that avoid gender specific language where practical and to welcome persons of all gender identities and expressions into service as General Synod Delegates and members of the UCCB. The existing bylaws name specific ratios of women and men for delegates to General Synod and for the make-up of the United Church of Christ Board. It urges all settings of the church to welcome all people into membership, ministry, and full participation regardless of gender identity or expression and to carefully consider the use of language relating to gender in all publications, curricula, and documents.

Oversight of the Local Church and its Covenantal Relationship with the Association in Which it Holds Standing as a Local Church of the United Church of Christ

Submitted by: the Southern California Nevada Conference
Summary: This resolution encourages a closer relationship between Associations or Conferences Acting as Associations and Local Churches and asks that the United Church of Christ Board provide guidelines for Associations and Conferences on how to release local churches who have not lived into the covenantal responsibilities of a Local Church as outlined in the United Church of Christ Manual on Church from membership in the UCC.

Jesus Said, “Follow Me”

Submitted by: the Northern California Nevada Conference
Summary:This resolution encourages conversation within and among Local Churches on what it means to follow Jesus to learn from and encourage each other in faithful witness and extravagant welcome. Conversations would address whether those new to a congregation become members via one of the three routes noted in the UCC Constitution or whether there are other routes or requirements for Local Church membership. The resolution requests that the implementing body for this resolution develop a conversation guide and a system for receiving, compiling, and distributing the reports from the conversations.

Protection of Immigrant Children and Their Families

Submitted by: the Illinois Conference
Summary: This resolution calls for the Department of Homeland Security to halt the practice of separating minor children of immigrant families from their families upon entry into the United States. It calls on the UCC to advocate for the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and other applicable government entities to immediately end the practice of separating minor children from their parents, except for the rare cases when the parents pose a threat to their own children, and that minor children who already have been taken from their parents be quickly reunited with them.

Resolution Submitted after the January 2, 2019 Deadline 

On Support for the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019

Submitted by: Irvine United Congregational Church, Irvine, CA; Co-Submitted by: 7 Diamond Bar United Church of Christ, Diamond Bar, CA8 Mt. Hollywood United Church of Christ, Hollywood, CA, Claremont UCC, Claremont, CA, First Congregational Church, Long Beach, CA, Boise First Congregational, Boise, ID,
Summary: This resolution supports the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019, H. R. 763, and encourages all settings of the UCC to learn more about climate change and solutions. It also encourages the national setting to make available resources to learn about and engage with people of other faiths on climate change.