The East Midlands Synod
of The United Reformed Church
Saturday 15th March 2014
at Wellingborough URC
Here are my personal 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!
After the drive down to Wellingborough we arrived to find tea and biscutes being served at the back of the church.
Opening worship was led by several young people, sharing a sketch used recently at the Youth Assmbly. The church secretary shared an overview of the history and work of the church. You can learn more on the church website.
Revd Peter Meek, our moderator, preside over the synod meeting next to Synod Clerk Duncan Smith who took the official minutes. After the usual notices and news of movements within the Synod, we broke into county groupings to discuss in a smaller group some of the pepers being presented.
This generated a good amount of conversation, we were enabled to talk together about topics we would not otherwise have had the chance to share, and some good points were made - even though all six groups were in the same echo ridden church.
Most of the rest of Synod was fairly formal and matter of fact.
Geoffrey Townsend covered the report from the Pastoral group, with the ever present deplyment issue overhanging all.
Over a conversation, one person told me told me of a church that was confused over deployment: They could not understand, if we had too many minsters, why they could not have one of them! A warning to make sure that our language is clear, precise and unambiguous!
Charles Jolly, our green advocate, reminded delegates of a range of opportunities churches have to be involved in green issues.
He mentioned that he has some study sheets for people to use. I go the impression that they were early drafts but - you can get copies from Charles via the Synod Office.
I might be able to pursuade him to post them onto the website.
Helen Lidget presented her last report as chair of Finance and Property.
Here she is joined by Revd Jenny Mills to present a cake to our Trust Officer Rober White, who has served that role for ten years.
Synod Treasurer David Greatorex as always was on hand to answer questions about his extensive report and budget figures.
Jenny Mills (right) briefly presented the Youth and Children’s Work
Tricia Legge spoke about the material that is available from the PILOTS desk to help with childrens activities - in particular worship and activites around other (CWM) countries.
Dinner in the neraby church Hall
A popular part of Synod is the sharing of good news stories. These stories are often very simple, and are not always sharing the spectacular results of some project.
After lunch, David Featonby shared news of four people whose lives had been wonderfully touched by their contact with Loughborough URC, and how their experience had enriched the whole church fellowship.
Lesley shared news from Whittlesey, one of our L.E.Ps in Lincolnshire
Mission Development Group Convenor Steve Faber present his report.
It needs some feedback from you.
Please look at this page
then read the East Midlands Synod Mission Strategy 2015 - DRAFT.doc
then complete the survey form to the MiDG know what you think.
There is more you can do: look at the way Back to Church Sunday is evolving into a season. Then REGISTER, take part and please let Midg know.
Steve introduced Francis Brienan
who spoke on Vision 20/20.
Vision 20/20 in the URC's own Mission Strategy programme launched in 2010. Do you remember? - we were asked to imaging what the URC ought to be like in ten years time (2020) and then do somthing to "Make It So" (to steal a phrase from Start Trek's Captain Piccard).
What the church is going to be like in six years time is down to us - every one of us in the local churches. We have the choice, we have the responsibility.
Francis' talk was very inspirational.
You can read the script of her talk here.
Brief and to the point (I like that),
Revd David Downing
presented the Ministries Group Report
Duncan Smith gave his (penultimate?) report as Synod Clerk.
Over the next six months, he will be shadowed by Helen Lidgett, Synod Clerk Elect.
Having picked up all the ropes, Helen will be our Clerk from the 2014 Autumn Synod.
Irene Wren Presented the Search Group Report –which show two things.
- The huge number of Jobs done for the church by volunteers
- she (as did Duncan in his report) gave thanks for these wonderful people.
- The number of jobs that are not being done.
Could you serve on a group at Synod level?
You do not have to know all about it before you start - we all began as novices somewhere, and you will soon learn.
Please contact the synod office
Synod concluded with
- the recognition of minsters having reached fifty or sixty years after their ordination:
60 Years: Eric Stanley Allen, Douglas Cummins
50 years: Geoffrey Herick, Samuel Arthur Madin,
Margaret Thornton Taylor (right), Alan Christopher White.
- the induction of four Pastoral Consultants.
- the sharing