by Nancy Talbot
“As a regional gathering of Gospel communities, the Synod of the Northeast is a thriving place of grace and passion for mission and ministry.” (Synod Leader Harold Delhagen)
This was the first assembly to be held under the Synod’s New Way Forward, which was adopted at our 2014 Assembly. Using the foundational values of blue skies and unencumbered spaces, the Assembly flowed back and forth between sharing stories and information from across the Synod and governance work. The sharing included Minutes for Mission from emerging leaders, an emerging Gospel community within Albany Presbytery – Underwood Park CrossFit, and another within Long Island Presbytery – Ministerio Hispano en Los Moriches, the Pre-Assembly Event on Race facilitated by Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training, the Working Group on Race, Presbyterian Women, the Hispanic Caucus, the Newark Administrative Commission, and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.
A key announcement was the creation of the Robert L. Washington Fund for Scholars and Fellows, a program to cultivate Executive Leadership Training. A priority will be placed on choosing young leaders from racial-ethnic as well as other marginalized communities.
Ten Young Adult Advisory Delegates introduced themselves and offered reflections. They reminded the assembly that they are aware of the many problems the Church faces. YAADs emphasized that they are not the future of the Church. They are the Church now and want to be included in efforts to address these problems.
Friday evening Harold Delhagen joined Tony De La Rosa, Interim Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, in a Fireside Chat. Saturday PC(U.S.A.) Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson preached at the closing worship and installation of Moderator Warren McNeill.
The Synod Assembly took the following actions:
- Approved the revised By-Laws and Standing Rules;
- Elected Ruling Elder Jacinth Hanson, Presbytery of New York City, as Moderator-Elect
- Approved a Commissioner Resolution addressing profound concern about the destructive effects of climate change on all God’s creation and divestment from fossil fuel companies. A new network, the Clean Climate Network, is in the process of forming;
- Approved the 2017/2018 budget with a per capita rate of $4.10;
- Approved presbytery minutes with noted exceptions, comments and commendations.