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Why Synod?

Why Synod?

WHO WE ARE

The Synod of the Covenant is one of 16 synods of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Our Synod consists of 11 presbyteries and nearly 700 congregations in Michigan and Ohio.

The constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) defines synods as:

The synod is the intermediate council serving as a corporate expression of the church throughout its region. It shall consist of not fewer than three presbyteries within a specific geographic region. … Synod is responsible for the life and mission of the church throughout its region and for supporting the ministry and mission of its presbyteries as they seek to support the witness of congregations, to the end that the church throughout its region becomes a community of faith, hope, love, and witness. As it leads and guides the witness of the church throughout its region, it shall keep before it the marks of the Church (F-1.0302), the notes by which Presbyterian and Reformed communities have identified themselves through history (F-1.0303) and the six Great Ends of the Church (F-1.0304).” (Book of Order, G-3.0401)

COVENANT, GRACE, GRATITUDE

God has a covenant with humanity that we celebrate and proclaim. God’s covenant is abundant grace, unconditional love, life giving, and eternal. We are called to serve (worship) with gratitude, to love genuinely, and share generously. We belong to God, we belong to one another, and we belong to the Earth.

WE ARE A CHURCH IN TRANSITION

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) traces its heritage to the Reformation in Europe and some 300 year history in the United States, hence it is not indigenous to this land. The church is in transition and so is this synod. The church must always recognize its transitional nature in order to be true to God’s calling to serve even “at the risk of losing itself”.

Many of the realities and assumptions on which our church is structured and organized are no longer viable. The institutional church model should to be either transitioning or fading away.  The very ministry of the church requires constant re-visioning, re-thinking, and re-forming.  We do not deny, question, or attempt to manage change, rather we aspire to prepare and to lead in the midst of change.

Statistical reports indicate that membership, attendance, funding, number and size of congregations and councils are getting smaller. Our constituency is aging and we struggle to relate and connect with younger generations. Perhaps we are called to see relevant visions and dream new dreams.  Perhaps we are called to break down walls of hostility and isolation in order to build bridges and new pathways, to reinvent the traditional Euro-American church model, and to contextualize our ministry.

The Synod of the Covenant is not a destination, but a journey we must take.

WE ARE CALLED TO REPENTANCE

We recognize a long history of one-way missions and a history of shortcomings. We celebrate the achievements of the past, confess our sins, and repent our complicities and failures to respond. It is from here that we commit to the rebuilding of the ‘Beloved Community’. We are on the move; we seek the inner and the corporate transformation, genuine renewal and an engaging outward worldly focus.

WE LAMENT THE LACK OF UNITY AND DIVERSITY

Despite our commitment to social justice, equity, diversity and inclusiveness, and despite the growing diversity of our nation’s demographics, our church remains predominately ‘White’ or Euro-American, ethnically and culturally.

WE ARE PRESBYTERIANS

The Synod of the Covenant is one of 16 synods of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Our Synod consists of 11 presbyteries and nearly 700 congregations mostly in Michigan and Ohio.

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