Under the theme “Gather…Grow…Go!,” more than 220 delegates representing congregations and agencies from across the Northern Province came together in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to do the governance work of the church June 21-25.
At the 2018 Synod of the Moravian Church Northern Province, delegates on 13 committees discussed, debated, wrote and revised more than 60 pieces of legislation to help guide the province for the next four years. Delegates spent many hours working on resolutions, offering their input, perspectives and expertise to discern how the church should proceed on a broad range of topics.
The 2018 Synod addressed issues like immigration, reducing violence, care and concern for women and girls, elimination of racism and inclusion. The Synod also legislated on guidelines and development opportunities for pastors and lay leadership; supported emerging ministries and spiritual formation; revised clergy health care and benefits programs; approved additional work for healthier congregations; reviewed and revised sections of the Northern Province’s Book of Order; discussed efforts to restructure the Province’s organization; approved proposals for new local and worldwide mission activities and ecumenical relationships; and more.
The Northern Province Synod of 2018 approved a full communion relationship with the United Methodist Church. The Southern Province had approved the proposal in April, while the United Methodists approved it at their General Conference in 2016.
In a series of ballots, delegates elected lay members of the Provincial Elders’ Conference and re-elected their PEC president. They also elected representatives to boards of the Moravian Theological Seminary, the Provincial Women’s Board, Larger Life Foundation, Moravian Academy and Linden Hall School for Girls.
In addition to handling the governance of the province, attendees worshiped together, learned from agencies and ministries of the church, and spent time renewing old friendships and beginning new ones.
More complete coverage of the 2018 Northern Province Synod will be featured in the June/July and August issues of The Moravian Magazine.
Photos by Mike Riess, IBOC, Moravian Church in America