General Synod 2019, Day 3

A Reflection by Stephanie Milton

Saturday and Sunday were very full days at General Synod. I was privileged to be able to witness the work of General Synod. As a Member in Discernment, I was able to select a Resolution Committee to observe during my time here in Milwaukee. I selected a Prudential Resolution, which means that the authors of this resolution want the body to vote on instituting a new program at the local level. The process is a weighty one, with several steps for Discernment and education. First, there was an educational intensive, where we learned contextual information about the proposed resolution. We did not discuss the resolution itself—this seemed to be a time for informing delegates and interested parties about the background for the resolution. The authors were passionate and committed, answering questions and offering testimonies. Next, we broke into feedback groups, where the session facilitators asked us questions designed to help us think about how we can then reach our colleagues during the plenaries.

Today, the resolution was introduced by one of the authors, in a timed speech. We then held a general discussion before going into deliberations. As a first-timer to Synod, this process seemed very thorough—sometimes frustratingly so! I understand why so much time has to be spent at every step of the proposed resolutions journey, but, from my newbie perspective, the discussion segment seemed to take a long time, and the deliberation segment often involved wording and grammar, rather than the content of the resolution. I am anticipating more rigorous discourse when the resolution comes to the floor tomorrow, but I’m also slightly trepidatious about what debate in the larger plenary looks like. Despite my nervousness, I am excited to witness the resolution of the resolution.