Report 2 (in a Series) on the 32nd General Synod

Report 2 (in a Series) on the 32nd General Synod

The UCC Takes Some Strong Stances on Environmental Issues

At the General Synod, three Resolutions were considered and passed relating to Love for the Earth. The one that we can all get our arms around and should consider adopting as a congregation is about stopping the use of foam plastic (Styrofoam) presented by the Central Pennsylvania Conference. The resolution, as adopted, can be found on the attached link.

The reason for the resolution is well spelled out the attached memo, but suffice it to say that because we KNOW that Styrofoam is a carcinogenic pollutant, it is inconsistent with our Love for the Environment to continue to use it, and we should educate ourselves and our community about why this is not a welcome commodity in our world and one which we should not be producing.

Be it resolved that the 32nd General Synod encourages Conferences, Associations, Congregations, CHHSM Agencies and individuals to avoid the use of plastic foam in food packaging and other activities within their church and church-related facilities; the freedom of implementation belongs to all settings of the United Church of Christ. Be it further resolved that Thirty Second General Synod encourages Conferences, Associations, Congregations, and CHHSM Agencies to educate their members about plastic foam and that they encourage the use of alternatives, such as paper products or, better yet, ceramic or other dishwasher-safe products.

Funding: The funding for the implementation of the resolution will be made in accordance with the overall mandates of the affected agencies and the funds available.

Implementation: The officers of the church, in consultation with appropriate ministries or other entities within the United Church of Christ, will determine the implementing body.

There are references mentioned in the Resolution of Witness setting forth the devastation that plastic foam causes to our environment and I encourage anyone with questions about the issue to review the references or send the office questions. We have, at Old First, been looking at getting away from disposables and back to renewables in our own practices. In this way, we are right on pace with the General Synod. Let’s all take this message into the rest of our lives as well and advocate for alternatives to Styrofoam where we can.

The General Synod also voted its support for the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019, encouraging all settings of the UCC to learn about and engage all people on climate change and to speak out for energy innovations and conservation to reduce climate change.  In an even more broad-sweeping Resolution, the General Synod voted to support the New Green Deal. That Resolution can be found at this link:

But more on that Resolution next time.


Respectfully submitted by Beth Walker