ASSEMBLY HIGHLIGHTS – August 3, 2018
The Synod Assembly convened on August 3, 2018 at the First Presbyterian Church in Maumee, Ohio. August Assemblies continue to focus on listening and conversations with presbyteries within the bounds of the Synod. The Synod invites and hosts annually all Presbytery Moderators to report on behalf of their respective Presbyteries. Moderators of the following Presbyteries attended: Eastminster, Lake Huron
The Assembly heard reports from the 223rd General Assembly, including Synod overtures approved by GA. Approved overtures related to the Middle East included the overture in opposition to Congressional and State Anti BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions); Legislation and Advocating for Human Rights of all Citizens of Israel; and Responding to the Current Syrian Crisis. Approved overtures related to Social Justice included the overture clarifying the position of the PC(USA) regarding Appropriate Boundaries of Religious Liberty, Affirming and Celebrating the Full Dignity and Humanity of People of All Gender Identities, and Celebrating the Gifts of People of Diverse Sexual Orientation and Identities in the Life of the Church.
The Synod of the Covenant was one of only six of the sixteen synods that reported to the Mid Council Committee and the report was approved by the General Assembly.
On the recommendation of the Peacemaking and Justice Committee, the Assembly approved expanding the Welcome Refugee initiative to include all immigration needs, including refugee, asylum, and needs related to families stranded and separated, in addition to refugees arriving from Iraq and Syria. The committee has also organized a task group to explore responding to needs related to immigration detentions and separations of family members.
On the recommendation of the Leadership Committee, the Assembly approved the renewed covenant agreement with the College of Wooster. Renewing the covenant agreements with Alma College and Muskingum University are still in progress.
The Synod Executive made a preliminary report on the Synod’s Mobile Health Fairs ministry, which concluded the season the following day. He also reviewed the plans of the Mission to the USA 2018 plans which will welcoming four International Mission Partners from South Asia in October, and will conclude with a seminar on the 2018 focus on Christian-Muslim relations scheduled for November 2, 2018 at Christ Presbyterian Church of Toledo, Ohio.
The Assembly received and approved with minor amendments the report of the Synod’s Administrative Commission for the Presbytery of Mackinac, and authorized the formation of a follow up Synod Committee for the Presbytery of Mackinac to work with the presbytery’s Coordinating Council to implement and monitor progress of the AC’s recommendations.
The Synod is scheduled to convene for the Annual Assembly November 2-3, 2018 at Christ Presbyterian Church of Toledo, Ohio.