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General Synod 2015

June 26-30, 2015 | Cleveland, Ohio

Register May 29, 4pm Exhibitors Live

About General Synod 2015

Every two years, General Synod brings together thousands of faithful members of the United Church of Christ for formal church witness, inspirational worship, and fellowship with friends (new and old).

In June 2015, thousands from across the country (and abroad) will gather for General Synod 30 in Cleveland, Ohio — the birthplace of the United Church of Christ. Together, we will discern resolutions of witness, church structure, and function. We will stand up for issues that demand a faithful witness. And we will join together in worship each day to lift up the Stillspeaking God.

At General Synod 30, we will explore some of the "Unexpected Places" where we hear God’s voice, encounter the Spirit, and find the United Church of Christ lifting up its witness in the world.

General Synod Program & Agenda

Please note that the General Synod agenda is fluid and will change often as we work to make the best use of time to accommodate an ambitious list of business and other Synod items. We suggest you check the agenda often to be aware of the most recent updates.

For a printable pdf of the agenda click here.

11:00 am - 7:00 pm

Exhibitor Move-In

11:30 am

Youth Registration Opens

4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

General Registration Opens

8:00 am - 11:30 am

Exhibitor Move-In

8:00 am - 8:00 pm

General Registration

12:00 pm

Exhibit Hall Opens

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Educational Intensives

2:30 pm

1st Plenary

Delegate Electronic Voting Tutorial. Report of the Nominating Committee. Report of the UCC Board. Introduction of New Business.

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Service Project: Stuff the Pack

Reading Changes Lives Information

5:15 pm - 7:15 pm

Optional Dinner Events

Optional Dining Events Information

7:15 pm

Plenary Welcome Music

7:30 pm

Opening Worship

Rev. Molly Baskette preaching.

7:30 pm

2nd Plenary

Introduction of Ecumenical Guests. Introduction of Honored Guests.

7:30 am - 7:30 pm

General Registration

8:15 am

Prayer Service

8:45 am

3rd Plenary

Keynote Speaker: Connie Schultz

11:30 am - 1:15 pm

Optional Luncheon Events

Optional Dining Events Information

12:00 noon

Gay Pride Parade Kicks Off

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm


1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Service Project: Stuff the Pack

Reading Changes Lives Information

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Optional Dinner Events

Optional Dining Events Information

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

General Synod Gala

7:30 pm

Jazz Vespers: Teaching the Eye to Hear

Musical Reflections on Henri Matisse's Jazz Series (Amistad Chapel)

7:30 pm - 10:00pm

General Synod Dance

8:00 am - 11:30 am

Committees in Session

9:00 am - 11:00 am

Service Project: Stuff the Pack

Reading Changes Lives Information

12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Optional Luncheon Events

Optional Dining Events Information

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Service Project: Tutor the Tutor

Reading Changes Lives Information

2:15 pm - 2:45 pm


3:00 pm

Community Worship

Bishop Dwayne Royster preaching.

5:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Optional Dinner Events

Optional Dining Events Information

7:30 pm


Budget, Nominating Committee, Constitution and Bylaws, Relationship with Canada, Fossil Fuel Implementation

8:00 am

4th Plenary

Committee Reports, Keynote Speaker: Paul Raushenbush

12:15 pm - 2:00 pm

Optional Luncheon Events

Optional Dining Events Information

2:30 pm

5th Plenary

Committee Reports

7:00 pm

6th Plenary

Committee Reports, Worship

8:30 am

7th Plenary

Committee Reports, Keynote Speaker: Winona LaDuke

12:00 pm

Exhibit Hall Closes and Teardown

2:00 pm

Eighth Plenary

Committee Reports, Local Arrangements’ Recognition, Invitation to the Thirty-first General Synod, Installation of Moderators

7:30 pm

Closing Worship

Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins preaching.

Speakers, Preachers & Workshops

General Synod 2015 Preachers

Rev. Molly Baskette
Rev. Molly Baskette
Rev. Molly Baskette is the lead pastor of the quirky, lovable, and truth-telling community of First Church Somerville UCC in metro Boston, and a senior consultant for the Center for Progressive Renewal. She is the author of Real Good Church: How Our Church Came Back from the Dead And Yours Can, Too, and the forthcoming Standing Naked Before God: The Art of Public Confession.
Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb
Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb
Dr. Mitri Raheb is the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem and the founder of a consortium that operates a university on the West Bank, as well as the president of the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan. Dr. Raheb, a contextual theologian, is the author of 16 books and numerous articles.
Bishop Dwayne Royster
Bishop Dwayne Royster
Bishop Dwayne Royster is the founding pastor of Living Water United Church of Christ located in the North Philadelphia section of Philadelphia. He is also the Executive Director of POWER: Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild. Bishop Royster serves on the United Church of Christ Board of Directors.
Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins
Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins
General Minister and President
>Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins serves as General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. She is a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches based in Geneva and serves on the National Council of Churches’ governing board.

General Synod 2015 Keynote Speakers

Bishop Dwayne Royster
Winona LaDuke
Founder and Co-Director of Honor the Earth
Winona LaDuke is founder and Co-Director of Honor the Earth, a national advocacy group encouraging public support and funding for native environmental groups. With Honor the Earth, she works nationally and internationally on issues of climate change, renewable energy, sustainable development, food systems and environmental justice.
Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins
Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush
Executive Religion Editor for the Huffington Post
Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush is the Executive Religion Editor for the Huffington Post. An ordained American Baptist minister, he speaks and preaches at colleges, churches and institutes around the country including The Chautauqua Institute, the Center for American Progress, the New America Foundation and the Aspen Institute. His current focus is on the interplay between religion and the internet.
Connie Schultzs
Connie Schultz
Syndicated Columnist
Connie Schultz is a nationally syndicated columnist and a regular essayist for Parade Magazine. She is also a contributor to the New York Times, the Washington Post, Politico and ESPN Magazine. She won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for columns that judges praised for providing "a voice for the underdog and the underprivileged." Schultz is the author of two books, "Life Happens – And Other Unavoidable Truths," a collection of essays, and "…and His Lovely Wife," a memoir about her husband Sherrod Brown’s successful 2006 race for the U.S. Senate.

General Synod 2015 Theological Reflectors

Rev. Matthew Laney
Rev. Matthew Laney
Senior Minister of Asylum Hill Congregational Church
Rev. Matthew Laney is the Senior Minister of Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford, Connecticut. A graduate of Andover Newton Theological School, Rev. Laney has pastored churches in Vermont and Michigan and worked with people who are homeless in Atlanta. Rev. Laney is a contributor to the UCC’s Stillspeaking Daily Devotionals and an aspiring novelist for young readers.
Rev. Robert Molsberry
Rev. Robert Molsberry
Interim Pastor at Peace UCC
Rev. Robert Molsberry is the Interim Pastor at Peace United Church of Christ in Webster Groves, Missouri. A graduate of Yale Divinity School, Rev. Molsberry has pastored churches in Illinois and Iowa and most recently served as Conference Minister for the Ohio Conference. He has published several dozen articles and is the author of two books, Blindsided by Grace: Entering the World of Disability and Tour de Faith: A Cyclist's Lessons for Living. Both books explore the concept of disability. Injured in a bicycle accident in 1997, Rev. Molsberry now uses a wheelchair for mobility.
Rev. Nancy Rosas
Rev. Nancy Rosas
Minister of Spiritual Formation
Rev. Nancy Rosas is the Minister of Spiritual Formation at Wash Park United Church of Christ in Denver, Colorado. A graduate of the Iliff School of Theology, Rev. Rosas has served in a variety of ministries within the church and in the communities where she has lived in both Central America and the United States. Rev. Rosas directs the Women’s Program at El Centro Humanitario para los Trabajadores/ (Humanitarian Center for Workers) where she provides education for economic and social self-development for women and pastoral accompaniment.

General Synod 2015 Workshops

Click here for complete list and descriptions

General Synod 2015 News

See a complete list of stories here

Exhibitor Forms
General Information
Exhibitor Kit Order Forms
Specialty Furniture Order Form

Exhibitor Registration Fees
Exhibitor (Primarily Selling) $100.00
Exhibitor (Primarily Informational Sharing and Resources) $247.50

General Synod Sponsorship Opportunities
Synod Advertising Opportunities

*Additional fees apply for booth space within the exhibit hall.

Cleveland, Ohio

Housing Information

Housing for General Synod 2015 is OPEN! Click here to book your room. The United Church of Christ has contracted discounted room rates with the following hotels:

Synod Hotels in Cleveland Cleveland Convention Center
  1 St. Clair Avenue NE • Cleveland, OH 44114

1. Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center ($159)
  127 Public Square • Cleveland, OH 44114

2. Doubletree by Hilton ($137)
  1111 Lakeside Avenue East • Cleveland, OH 44114

3. Hampton Inn Cleveland-Downtown ($132 - $142, includes breakfast)
  1460 East 9th Street • Cleveland, OH 44114

4. Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arcade ($159)
  420 Superior Avenue • Cleveland, OH 44114

5. Renaissance Cleveland Hotel ($159)
  24 Public Square • Cleveland, OH 44113

6. The Westin Cleveland Downtown ($159)
  777 St. Clair Avenue, NE • Cleveland, OH 44114

7. Radisson Hotel Cleveland-Gateway
  651 Huron Road • Cleveland, OH 44115

8. UCC Church House
  700 Prospect Avenue • Cleveland, OH 44115

These rates will ONLY be available through the online housing bureau. Hotels are unable to accept reservations at the UCC's contracted discounted rate through direct phone calls. Please note: All hotels are within 0.4 miles of the Cleveland Convention Center.

Area Highlights and Links

Parking Map for Downtown Cleveland
Positively Cleveland
Downtown Cleveland Alliance
Things to do in Cleveland

Synod Hotels in Cleveland

General Synod is Presented by

Church Building and Loan Fund
Cornerstone Fund

Bath Church - United Church of Christ, Bath, OH
Federated Church United Church of Christ, Chagrin Falls, OH
The First Church in Oberlin, United Church of Christ, Oberlin, OH
First Congregational Church of Hudson, Hudson OH

McGladrey LLP
Trinity United Church of Christ, Wooster, OH
United Church Homes
Weston Patrick, P.A.