Every two years, General Synod brings together thousands of faithful members of the United Church of Christ for formal church witness, inspirational worship, and fellowship.
Members of Pacific Islander and Asian American Ministries (PAAM) UCC led worship on Monday evening, with Sharon MacArthur, Interim Minister of Community Church of Honolulu, delivering the message.
General Synod 32 convened in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from June 21 – 25. The Hawai'i Conference was well represented, with 11 Delegates, two Associate Delegates, several staff people, and a number of local church members participating.
Some highlights from the gathering:
Voices of the Hawai‘i Conference Lead Worship
Members of PAAM (Pacific Islander and Asian American Ministries) UCC, which includes members of the Hawai‘i Conference, led worship on Monday evening. Read more.
Watch the recorded worship service below and look out for familiar faces and listen for the voices of:
Pastor Nixon Jack (Hawai‘i PAAM & Kosraean Ministry at First United Protestant Church) leads the Call to Worship in Kosraean at 2:08:31.
Lori Yamashiro (Nu‘uanu Congregational Church) leads the Call to Worship in Japanese at 2:09:02.
Pualani Muraki (Lanakila Congregational Church & UCC Board of Directors) reads the scripture from Matthew 5:14-16 in Hawaiian at 2:18:08.
Rev. Sharon Lee MacArthur, Interim Minister at Community Church of Honolulu, gives the sermon at 2:22:00.
Election of UCC National Officers
John Dorhauer was reelected as the General Minister and President and Karen Georgia Thompson was elected to serve as Associate General Minister of Global Engagement. Both will serve four-year terms. Read more.
Marching for Justice
Synod attendees marched in support of justice for immigrants and joined a rally to protest threatened U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids. Read more.
Breaking the Silence
Delegates voted overwhelmingly to establish a Break the Silence Sunday observance denomination-wide to encourage churches to discuss and educate people about sexual violence and commit to ending it. The resolution also encourages churches and associations to treat survivors of sexual violence and their stories "with due care and preparation, allowing time for education, self-care, and gathering of resources." Read more.
Keynote speaker Matthew Desmond, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Evicted, named the lack of affordable housing "one of the most morally urgent issues in America," and issued a call to address and solve this crisis.
Hawai‘i delegate Kerisa Carmelo (Lanakila Congregational Church, Hawai‘i Island) spoke out in support of the resolution regarding the use of plastic foam (i.e. Styrofoam®), which was passed. Learn more about the resolution HERE.
View photos from General Synod 32 and read the Hawai'i Conference General Synod blog for attendees' insights and reflections.