The Synod Assembly is our biennial Synod-wide fellowship gathering for celebration, business, and visioning.

The Synod Assembly is one of our two Synod-wide fellowship events and gathers in the fall of even numbered years. The Assembly meets opposite our Come to the Table event, which gathers on odd numbered years.

Synod Assembly 2018
September 21-22

Registration deadline: August 24
Registration has been closed.

Documents for the 2018 Synod Assembly
are available via the button.

Jump to:  Overview — Pre-Assembly — Synod Assembly — FAQs

In addition to the Assembly itself, the Synod typically hosts a Pre-Assembly event. This gathering allows for further fellowship among the Synod community and an opportunity to delve into a subject more deeply together.

Pre-Assembly Gathering
On Thursday and Friday, September 20-21, 2018, we will once again be hosting Crossroads Anti-Racism Organizing & Training to facilitate a seminar on race and dismantling racism at the Desmond Hotel & Conference Center in Albany, NY.  

This event is open to everyone in the Synod community, regardless of whether you're attending the Assembly itself or not. This seminar will be valuable to both those who have attended Crossroads trainings before and those who have not -- it will take prior participants deeper while also introducing newcomers to foundational materials. 

We all come to anti-racism work with different backgrounds and experiences. The Synod invites you to bring those varied perspectives with you, knowing that our shared experience will be richer with your presence. See below for more details and click here to register now.

Conditioned to Comply:
Understanding & Interrupting the Internalization of Racism

Building on the Introduction to Systemic Racism the Synod offered during the 2016 Synod Assembly and several Presbyteries have offered subsequently, this workshop will explore the impact racism has on individual and collective racial identity. The workshop proposes that all of us – regardless of our racial identity – are misshapen and conditioned to live out ways of being that make us complicit in the perpetuation of systemic racism in spite of our intentions.

The following objectives will be pursued:

  • Recall and continue building a shared language and shared frameworks for understanding racism as a systemic, institutional problem of power that goes beyond personal prejudice

  • Explore ways in which US White dominant culture shapes each person racially

  • Begin creating a shared understanding of the ways systemic racism and the misuse of institutional power interact to misshape our individual and collective identities in ways that threaten our humanity

  • Explore ways each of us as individuals can interrupt the ways our social conditioning makes us complicit in the perpetuation of systemic racism regardless of our racial identity

Definitions of key terms – race, racialization, internalization of racism, and white dominant culture – will be recalled and explored in deeper ways than we have had the opportunity to do in previous workshops.

Thursday, September 20
1:00 pm - Gathering at Desmond Hotel & Conference Center, Albany NY
1:15 pm - Welcome
                         Courageous Agreement
                         Hermeneutical Circle: A Practice of Critical & Spiritual Reflection
2:00 pm - Understanding the Culture of White Domination in the US and the Church
                         Race & Racialization: How do we get a Race?
5:00 pm - Dinner
6:30 pm - An Introduction to the Internalization of Racism
8:30 pm - Adjourn

Friday, September 21
8:30 am - Morning Prayers & Checking-In
10:00 am - Showing Up Differently: Interrupting Strategies
11:00 am - Making Commitments: What can I do? What can we do?
11:30 am - Evaluation
12:00 pm - Adjourn  

Schedule is coming soon!

How many commissioners can each presbytery elect?

Each presbytery can elect:
     Two (2) ruling elders,
     Two (2) teaching elders, and
     One (1) young adult advisory delegate (YAAD) between the ages of 17 and 22.
It would also be wise to elect one or two alternates in case someone cannot attend at the last minute.

Who should be elected?

Diversity - To remain faithful to the core values of the New Way Forward, presbyteries are encouraged to elect people who represent age, gender, racial/ethnic, and other diversities within your bounds. According to the Synod’s standing rules, presbyteries are encouraged to elect at least one commissioner who will be age thirty-five or younger on the date the Synod Assembly convenes.

Continuity - In order for commissioners to be knowledgeable about Synod matters over the past two years, it would be helpful if presbyteries elect your current Synod Mission & Ministries Commission member as one of your four commissioners.

Moderator Eligibility - If your presbytery wishes to put forth a candidate as Moderator-Elect, or a person within your presbytery wishes to run for Synod Assembly Moderator-Elect, that person will need to be elected as one of your assembly commissioners.

How long is a Commissioner's term?

A commissioner will serve from the opening of the 2018 Synod Assembly (September 21, 2018) until the opening of the next assembly in September 2020. Normally, this means that commissioners will only attend the stated assembly meeting in 2018. However, if it is necessary to call a special assembly meeting before September 2020, the commissioners elected for 2018 will serve at that meeting.

Can 2016 Synod Assembly Commissioners be re-elected?

Yes. Commissioners are allowed to serve a total of six (6) consecutive years, or three two-year terms. (We reset the clock and began tracking terms at the 2014 Synod Assembly.)

When is the election deadline?

Commissioner elections should ordinarily be completed no later than sixty (60) days prior to the stated meeting (July 23, 2018). If your presbytery meets infrequently and cannot meet this deadline, please contact Nancy Talbot, the Synod Stated Clerk.

Who pays Synod Assembly meeting expenses?

The Synod of the Northeast pays travel, lodging, and meal expenses for all commissioners and YAADs on a basis determined by the Synod Mission & Ministries Commission. Presbyteries will pay expenses for their leadership and staff.