Greetings to all!
This is an update about the 2020 meeting of the General Synod. As you know, we have been planning for the meeting to take place August 18-20 at Bonclarken. We have also been considering options for a hybrid Synod meeting with some representatives at Bonclarken and others participating virtually as well as for a completely virtual meeting. Earlier this week, the Executive Board met to consider these possibilities. During our meeting, the Board adopted a motion to recommend that the Moderator postpone the 2020 meeting to a future date and venue at his discretion. I have accepted this recommendation and am announcing with this communication that the 2020 meeting of the General Synod is postponed until October 22-23, 2020.
There is a desire to hold the meeting of Synod in person if at all possible, so the tentative plan is for the October meeting to be at Bonclarken, but alternative sites will continue to be investigated. Under current guidelines, the capacity of the Youth Activity Building at Bonclarken will just barely accommodate the number for a quorum. (An alternative site considered back in May and June will not accommodate the number currently registered for Synod.) The postponement will also give us more time to prepare to carry out a successful hybrid or completely virtual meeting. (The Executive Board’s meeting was by Zoom, and we experienced some of the technological challenges and hazards of holding a virtual meeting.) The problem of reliable internet connectivity at Bonclarken reinforces the need to continue investigating alternative sites in case a hybrid meeting needs to be held.
You will have noticed that, with the postponement, the three-day meeting schedule will be compressed to a two-day schedule. The Executive Board, which can act on behalf of Synod in emergency situations, will be meeting later this month to deal with certain time-sensitive matters such as the report from the Nominations Committee and routine reports. This will reduce the amount of business that will have to be done during the October meeting and will free up time at that meeting for consideration of the report from the Moderator’s Blue Ribbon Committee and other matters that need attention by the full Synod.
Additional details about the October meeting of Synod will be available as soon as possible but no later than September 1. Please pray for rapid improvement in the current situation with COVID-19 in North Carolina and elsewhere and for wisdom for the Moderator and the Executive Board as we continue to work toward a compressed meeting of Synod, whether that be in person, hybrid, or completely virtual.
Rob Roy McGregor III