Synod of the Southwest Report
The Synod of the Southwest met for its Annual Meeting, October 21-22, 2016 at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Phoenix, AZ. Greetings were given by our host church’s pastors: Martha Lopez de Garcia, CRE and the Rev. Cynthia Jennison. The Friday evening communion service was blessed by dramatic scripture readings, led by the Rev. Shelly Moe, and a powerful sermon offered by our Synod Moderator, Maribeth Culpepper: “Do What You Have the Power to Do”.
Highlights from the Assembly include:
- Reports from each of our four presbyteries (de Cristo, Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, Sierra Blanca), with each undergoing significant change while venturing forward in faith and hope,
- Approval of the DREAM Grant application for St. Mark’s Presbyterian in Tucson,
- Invitation to participate in the “Serving the Marginalized” event, led by Rev. Dr. Carolyn Helsel from Austin Seminary, Nov. 4-5, in Tempe,
- Theocademy Synod-wide training of leadership in our Native American churches is launching into its second unit of curriculum,
- Approval of both Stated Clerk/Executive, Conrad M. Rocha, and Associate Stated Clerk/Executive Assistant, Robin Thomas, to serve additional five year terms, through the 2021 Annual Meeting,
- As new business, approval to move Synod funds from Wells Fargo bank into a local credit union which invests in non-profit organizations,
- The viewing of the “Doctrine of Discovery – Unmasking the Domination Code” and a discussion about how the Synod can respond to, and increase awareness about, the horrific historic mistreatment of native people on this continent.
The next Synod meeting will be March 17-18, 2017 in Phoenix.