Wisconsin Conference Annual Meeting Reflection

Every two years our denomination holds General Synod. The Wisconsin Conference sends delegates to the synod. This year one of the younger delegates was our own Becca Kesting. The church is always trying to encourage younger members to participate to continue the life of this great denomination. We are proud that Becca represented Wisconsin and First Congregational. I hope you not only read her reflections below, but take the time to engage in a conversation with her.          Eldonna

Hello church,

My name is Becca Kesting and I have been a member of First Congregational UCC in Madison for six years. Today I am going to share with you my experiences as a delegate from the Wisconsin Conference at the 29th General Synod this June in Long Beach, California. The theme for Synod this year was God’s Vision: which left us to question and imagine what God’s vision could be. My discussion will center on moments I felt most certain of God’s vision for the UCC.

The Council for Racial and Ethnic Ministries brought a resolution in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Voting Rights Act. With overwhelming support, the resolution was passed. Actions from this resolution will be to pressure national and state legislatures to ensure voting rights of all citizens and to organize a movement of people who will demand such legislation. It was clear to me that the work the UCC does to seek justice for all people is entrenched in our history and can continue to be a part of our identity. I hope that we will continue to be a demanding presence for racial equality.

The resolution that caused the most debate sought to help seminarians and members in discernment with the cost of their education. We had many young members in discernment as delegates from the Wisconsin Conference. This focused our attention on the need to address this problem. While this resolution is being addressed at the national level of the UCC, there are plans to bring this issue to greater attention in our local churches. I am excited for the future of the UCC as it is clear to me that our denomination is in a time of transition. I think that in order to decipher what that future could be we need to support new and well-educated leaders. I hope First Congo will be involved in further support of our Wisconsin seminarians and members in discernment.

As many of you are aware, there was a campaign at Synod this year called the Scarf Project. The Scarf Project set a goal of bringing 3,000 rainbow scarves to Synod. Members of First Congo crocheted and knitted scarves that were blessed in our sanctuary and then sent ahead to Long Beach. At synod, delegates and visitors were asked to take a scarf (or two or three), make a pledge to end bullying, and to take the scarves back to their communities to develop support and awareness from others as well. It is estimated that 12,000 scarves were brought to Synod. I am certain that delegates from all across the country have taken home the scarves made at First Congo, and it is stunning for me to think that the love you put into those scarves will translate into understanding and action in those communities.

Matt, a delegate from La Crosse who identified himself as a ‘Synod junkie,’ was able to summarize the Synod experience, and my feelings upon leaving Long Beach. He suggested that Synod is a place where we see the world as it could be. It is difficult to go back to the world as it is, but hopefully we can take the energy from the glimpse of the world that is possible and work towards making it a reality. I have been so amazed by First Congo and the work you do to achieve the world-as-it-could-be. I hope that you will continue to work towards this world knowing that we are demonstrating God’s love in our actions.

 

Blessings,

Becca

 

Posted on July 23, 2013 at 10:29 am in Featured Content.

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