Turns out, God is doing a new thing. Of course, Isaiah, one of our favorite Advent voices, told us to look and see the new thing God is doing, but I never dreamed I would find myself in the middle of one of those new things. Would you join me in doing the new thing that the Synod is igniting through a contribution to the Innovation Fund?
The September 2016 Synod Mission and Ministries Commission was full of our regular work as well as approving items to pass onto the Synod Assembly for consideration and approval. The full Commission serves as the Synod Board of Trustees. In this capacity they voted to: have funds from the Wurffel-Sills Fund support the Robert L. Washington Scholars and Fellows Program; have the unused balance of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute Fund of $1,390 be transferred to the Robert L. Washington Program; approve the funding of $36,000 for the CrossRoads Racial Awareness program for 2017 from the Walker Fund; and authorize the Treasurer to take appropriate steps to receive distribution from the Eichelberger Trust, of which the Synod is a named beneficiary, with an expected payout of $125,000.
Since the beginning of the YAV program, there have been 10 YAVs who have built partnerships in Boston. The YAVs have gone on to live their faith in a variety of ways, from attending seminary to working for Americorps, to being a children's advocate at the Virginia Poverty Law Center, to enrolling in nursing school, to working at the Women's Lunch Place in Boston, to name a few.
After using the April Synod Mission and Ministries meeting for a retreat in which we reflected upon the synod’s foundational text Isaiah 43:19, the Commission went back to business the last weekend in June. We began with the unveiling of our new synod video, which in many ways is an expression of the Isaiah text. If you haven’t had the chance yet to see our new website or the video, go take a look and see the new things we are doing.
The Synod has historically supported campus ministries throughout our geographical bounds. One of these ministries is the Protestant Chapel Community, a ministry of Genesee Area Campus Ministries, led by Presbyterian Teaching Elder Laurie Tiberi. She gathers students for weekly Sunday worship and Wednesday Dinner Dialogues, as well as Saturday student-led bible study and service in a local soup kitchen, game nights and social events.
The Synod Mission and Ministry Commission met the last weekend in January. It was a spirit-filled gathering in which we accomplished so much work in 24 hours—all with a combination of seriousness, joy, laughter and fellowship. We began and ended with worship focusing on the words and ideas of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is remarkable how much his words still resonate with the ministry of the Synod today.
As we move into our New Way Forward as the Synod of the Northeast we celebrate the many ways we are able to resource and support one another in mission and innovation. In this first edition of our Mission and Innovation Newsletter we are delighted to share with you some of the ways we are encouraging new expressions of mission and cultivating new areas of innovation in partnership with our presbyteries and congregations. We share these in order to stir your passion for mission in your place, and to inspire new work as you reflect on these endeavors. As you engage in this reflection you are invited to contact our staff to find ways your Synod Community might come along side you in your dreams for new ministry. Click here for the Newsletter