At the June 2018 Mission & Ministries Commission meeting, the Synod’s Committee on Representation, which reviews applications and selects participants for the Robert L. Washington Scholars program each year, joyfully announced the members of the 2018-2019 cohort. We are delighted to introduce to you RE Luci Duckson-Bramble and Rev. Erin Hayes-Cook, both of whom are outstanding leaders!
Our Synod community is deeply blessed with incredible diversity. With this gift comes a profound responsibility to be sure that the gift of these voices is heard and reflected within the leadership of our governance structures. The Robert L. Washington Scholars Program is intended to lift up, support, and equip a diversity of leaders to serve our mid-councils and other areas of leadership.
For a first discussion and vote at General Assembly our overtures did very well. The overture proposing to amend the Book of Order so that Sessions can ordain Ruling Elders for service beyond their congregation such as in a presbytery or a synod received much discussion both in committee and on the GA floor. This overture which opens up who is welcome at the governing tables or higher councils clearly resonated with YADs, clergy spouses who currently cannot serve on many sessions and therefore cannot serve on any mid-council, and those engaging with immigrant fellowships and new worshipping communities. The overture lost by a slim margin and then was referred by an Assembly voice vote to the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA).