With fiery speeches on faith and politics, the United Church of Christ’s biennial General Synod seemed at times as much a revival or political rally as a mainline church meeting.
The nearly 10,000 church members gathered in Hartford, Connecticut, last month heard speeches from journalist Bill Moyers and presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D., Ill.). The Democrat exhorted his 1.2-million-member denomination to continue its support for progressive causes.
“They say your church is dying,” said Moyers on June 23. “And lame, and limp. But it is a small, committed community of people of conscience who can turn this country around.”
UCC President and General Minister John Thomas said before the Synod that he hoped the focus on faith in the public square would lead to a sense of renewed energy in his flagging church. “There’s always been a strong public face to the United Church of Christ, and we’re reclaiming that,” Thomas said.