The East Midlands Synod
of The United Reformed Church
met on the beautiful Autumn Morning
of Saturday 5th November 2011
at Sherwood United Reformed Church
Here are my observations
of some of the things that went on at Synod.
These are not official minutes, and can not be guaranteed for their accuracy.
I have concentrated on the things that struck me as interesting or important,
and I will have omitted reporting on some issues which you may have picked up.
Would you like to have a go at reporting the events at Synod for the website?
Would you like to take the photographs?
Then please let the Synod Clerk know!
Jill Turner, Church Secretary at Sherwood
welcomed everyone and gave an overview
of things happening at the chruch.
Synod Clerk Duncan Smith,
our new Moderator Peter Meek,
and Office administration Chris
officiated from the 'Top Table'
Geoff Towsend, Pastoral committee Convenor, presented their report.
He told synod that in the East Midlands
we are over deployed for ministry
– we need to be reducing numbers of ministers from now on.
This has also stretched our synod funds, which together with the vanishing recession interest rates, means the synod is having to cut some of its anticipated expenditure.
The list of lay people authorisedto preside at the sacraments in local churches was accepted.
Charles Jolly -Synod's Green Apostle - told us "How can we respond to Climate Change"
Carbon output is increasing – it is now nearly twice what is stated in the classic books on the subject! China is increasing the most.
The poorer countries of the world are taking the biggest hit from climate change effects, and are shouting the loudest for change.
We need to write to support our government (in particular Chris Hoone, and David Cameron) in its policies, and urge them to keep on! The UK is taking a lead in working for an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (the Christian Aid website provides more details).
Up till now nature seemed big enough to look after itself – now we know we are seriously harming it. It is a matter of life & death – for people NOW in some countries – for ALL in the future. This is an ethical and a theological issue, belonging to TEND & TREASURE in the Five Marks of Mission.
These websites provide ideas, inspiration and resources, however much work you may have already done on environmental issues.
Creation Challenge is a mine of up-to-date information and Transition Towns are a brilliant way of engaging with the community.
Working towards the Ecocongregation award can help all the groups in a church develop a common vision..
The 'Transition Towns' movement deals with many of the practical matters.
is an invaluable study guide (developed jointly by the Methodist, Baptist and URC churches).
We met David Greatorix (right),
the new Synod Treasurer
who presented the Budget figures for 2013.
Snippets from amongst the rest of the afternoon's discussions:
The rep from Bulwell spoke about their sadness bout loosing the headquarters of CWM from our country because of difficulties in obtaining visas for the staff. After a noable history in London (beginning as the London Missionary Society - LMS), the HQ has moved to Singapore.
We heard news that young people from Botswana will be coming over to the UK next year, and there is opportunity for young people from the EMS to work on a project for a couple of weeks with them.
One question from the floor was “what has happened with our European partnership” – the Moderator said the link had arisen with the Croatian Reformed Church because of a personal relationship between Malcolm Hanson and Bishop Andrea. Without that link it has proven difficult to sustain. Camilla reminded Synod that there should have been a European Church appointed (nationally) for us to relate with 'on behalf of' the whole denomination.
A Cydo is a synod appointee; however, the contract is with church house in London, as they are in part at least national appointments. This is under review. The costs are entirely with the Synod.
And General Assembly will happen next year. Are you interested? As a Synod we can send 15 representatives – incl 3 ex-officio: the Moderator, The Synod Clerk & .
The highlight of the Synod was the formal induction of Revd Dr Deborah Anderson as our Training and Development Officer: