During the 2014 Synod of the Moravian Church in America Southern Province, delegates approved a broad variety of resolutions. This list represents resolutions approved through Saturday morning, April 5, 2014.
Approval of Revised Constitution and Book of Order of the Southern Province
The Synod approved resolutions to adopt revisions to the Constitution and the Book of Order of the Moravian Church in America, Southern Province. These Constitutional and Book of Order changes were the result of the Provincial Restructuring efforts approved at the 2010 Synod of the Southern Province. Complete information about these revised documents will be shared on the Southern Province website following Synod.
Revision of Board of World Mission Constitution
Synod approved a number of revisions to the Board of World Mission’s Constitution that corrects wording, allows up to four Directors-at-Large with a specified term limit, permits Affiliate Membership to the Board of World Mission, and discontinues the Board’s role of providing a bishop to a Mission Province.
Adoption of a “Safe Sanctuary” Policy for congregations and agencies
Synod passed a resolution mandating that each congregation of the Southern Province and each board and agency shall develop, adopt and implement a “Safe Sanctuary” policy and procedures related to safety issues for the protection of children, youth and vulnerable adults. The resolution also ensures guidelines will be provided for what is needed in developing those policies.
Study and Discernment Regarding Homosexuality
Synod passed a resolution that reaffirmed a resolution from 2010 to provide leadership, resources and a process for a conversation about homosexuality in the church that includes diverse viewpoints, and opportunities for open and honest discussion, study and discernment; and that the process of dialogue and discernment should take into account similar efforts made, and decisions that have been or may be reached by our sister provinces within the Unity, as well as any actions of the 2014 Unity Board and 2016 Unity Synod. The resolution further stipulates that this work, which was not completed during the last intersynodal period be completed prior to the Synod of 2018.
Synod passed a resolution urging all congregations to include active stewardship of the Earth as part of their regular stewardship practices and to call upon the Board of Cooperative Ministries Environmental Task Force for educational materials and other resources to support them in this essential ministry.
Annual Pension Fund Report
Synod resolved that the Provincial Elders’ Conference in consultation with the Pension Committee provide an annual written report to congregations of the Province that includes information about the current balance and number of participants in the Pension Fund and the status of pension obligations.
John Hus Memorial Year 2015
Synod passed a resolution that designates 2015 as year to honor the memory and teachings of John Hus; and outlined activities and opportunities to honor the legacy of Hus during 2015. It also resolved to encourage the Northern Province Synod, to be held in June, adopt a similar resolution and that all Moravians be invited to reflect on John Hus’s witness and how his modern spiritual descendants can emulate his example of faithful devotion to Christ.
Cooperation and Collaboration with Wake Forest University School of Divinity
Synod passed a resolution that directs the Provincial Elders’ Conference or its representatives to engage in an informal, but intentional, dialogue with representatives of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity regarding ways the Moravian Church in America, Southern Province and the WFU School of Divinity can cooperate and collaborate together for their mutual benefit; and present a report at the 2018 Synod describing the progress of this dialogue and collaborative efforts with the WFU School of Divinity. The Moravian Theological Seminary will be invited to participate in these discussions.
New Provincial Share Methodology
Synod adopted a new methodology to determine congregational share for provincial support. This change was based on a share methodology used for budget years 2013 and 2014 that was implemented, monitored, and evaluated by the Provincial Support Services Board and declared a fair and equitable system by the PEC. The resolution passed moves provincial share from an expense-based budget to a new methodology that is income or revenue based. It provides a fair share for congregations while providing a more accurate projection of revenue for annual budgeting. More information on the provincial share methodology will be shared with congregations following Synod.
Additional resolutions will be reported in a later article and complete details on the final resolutions will be posted to the Southern Province website following Synod.