By Nancy Talbot
With the term cycle shift approaching with the new year, at its November 2018 meeting, the Mission & Ministries Commission (M&MC) thanked the Commission members and Synod officers who are rotating off its roles and bid them farewell. We are so grateful for their gifts, their service, and their ministry! We will miss each of them, but know that we will continue to see and hear from them in other contexts across the Synod.
At the same time, we look forward to meeting new members in January. If your presbytery has not yet elected your representative or sent Synod Stated Clerk Nancy Talbot the names of three nominees in order to help the Synod nominating commission achieve a healthy diversity, we encourage you to pursue this as quickly as possible. New people need notice of the meeting dates for which they will be responsible.
The Synod Mission & Ministries Commission is the council of the Synod Assembly that conducts Synod business between Assembly meetings. It is comprised of representatives from each of our 22 presbyteries, Presbyterian Women, all certified caucuses, as well as YAADs from one third of the presbyteries on a rotating basis. Meeting three times a year from 12:00 noon on a Friday until 12:00 noon on Saturday, the full Commission begins with a topic for discussion such as progress on recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. Members then break out into the Mission, Networks, and Administrative Working Groups to consider grant applications, networks and other connectional possibilities, and administrative/governance issues. The next morning the convener of each working group presents recommendations to the full Commission for approval. This process allows the Commission to handle a large amount of material in a short period of time.
It is the responsibility of each Commission member to bring presbytery information to the Synod Commission as well as bring Synod information back to their presbyteries. If you have any questions about the Commission, please contact Stated Clerk, Nancy Talbot. If you are interested in serving in this capacity for your presbytery, contact your nominating committee chair. Each term lasts for two years, with a person eligible to serve up to three terms. The next new term begins in January 2019.
We are grateful to the following people for their faithful service:
Thia Reggio – Thia has now completed her terms as Moderator-Elect, Moderator of the Synod, and Moderator of the Synod Mission & Ministries Commission. She served during the first five years of the New Way Forward and oversaw this time of significant change. Among other tasks, Thia performed an audit of staff positions which led to creating a staffing task force that resulted in changing some positions to better meet the needs of the New Way Forward.
Terri Ofori – Terri served as the Synod Chaplain for the past four years. In this capacity she served as the worship leader at Synod Mission & Ministries Commission meetings as well as Synod Assemblies, where she always brought fresh liturgy and wove meeting themes into our worship.
Jeff Couter – Jeff served as Utica’s representative for the past two years. He was a member of the Networks Working Group. During this time, he became active with the Clean Climate Network where he will continue to serve.
Stephen Fearing – Stephen served as Long Island’s representative for the past four years until recently when he moved to Lexington, KY to accept a new call. Stephen was a member of the Mission Working Group and served as its convener.
Jacinth Hanson – Jacinth served as New York City’s representative for the past four years and was the Administrative Working Group convener. At the Synod Assembly in 2016, she became Moderator-Elect of the Synod. At this past Synod Assembly (September 2018), Jacinth was installed as the Synod Moderator where she will continue to serve.
Amy Lincoln – Amy served as Newton Presbytery’s representative for the past four years until she recently moved to the New Brunswick Presbytery to receive a new call. Amy was a member of the Mission Working Group and helped to plan worship for our latest Synod Assembly.
Charlie Smith – Charlie served as Cayuga-Syracuse’s representative for the past four years. He was a member of the Networks Working Group and served as its convener.
Each of the above individuals has been a gift to us. Thank you so much for your service!