Okay, it really bothered me. Here's the background.
The UCC is currently governed by four independent boards. There has been a multi-year effort to consolidate into one board, and the synod and various bodies of the church have expressed that desire. Recently the whole process was stalled when the Justice and Witness Board, which had previously approved, voted not to approve the consolidation because they felt that minorities would be underrepresented. I must clarify that the new single board would require that 50% of its make-up be from minority groups.
Well, it has caused a lot of upset and has been the major topic at synod. The Synod cannot now make the consolidation happen--the Justice and Witness Board will still need to vote for it. We can, however, express our desire.
The committee to which this topic was assigned drew hundreds of folk. The committee did its work diligently over two days and came back with a well thought out proposal that, if anything (in my opinion) errs on the side of just repeating the process of the last two years (of getting feedback from all the groups).
Another thing I must say, is that many minorities are for single governance. So, it isn't like they are all of one mind.
During the meeting, those who are opposed to the plan held signs up (non-committee members cannot talk once official deliberation begins). One of the signs charged it was an undemocratic process. The other signs made similar sorts of charges. During pauses in the committee work, the opposition would sing protest songs.
I found the entire thing an attempt at intimidation and manipulation of a process that, if anything, bends over backwards to be deliberative. The committee (of well over 50 folk and including many minorities, including the chair) ended up unanimous with its proposal.
The weirdest moment for me came when the protestors sang, "We Shall Overcome." I am not usually on the other side of that song. I'm usually with whatever group is advocating for their rights. I could help but feel that I was being called a racist. And that seemed manifestly unfair and itself an attempt to thwart the deliberative, intentional process.