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General Synod 2017

June 30-July 4, 2017 | Baltimore, MD


Videos Photos Resolutions

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.

Event Materials for General Synod 2015

General Information
General Synod Prayers
General Synod Program Book [NEW] (pdf)
Information for Delegates and Visitors (doc)
Childcare and Children's Programming Information
Optional Dining Events
Parking Map for Downtown Cleveland
General Synod Videos
General Synod Logos
General Synod Poster (pdf)

Reports to the Thirtieth General Synod
The Second Report of the General Synod Nominating Committee
The First Report of the General Synod Nominating Committee
Candidates For Election to the General Synod Nominating Committee
Resolutions as Voted by the Thirtieth General Synod
Past General Synod Resolutions
General Synod Standing Rules (pdf)
UCC Constitution and Bylaws

Proposed Amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws
Notice of Amendments (pdf)
Proposed Amendments to the Constitution (pdf)
Proposed Amendments to the Bylaws (pdf)
Letter to Delegates (pdf)
Constitution & Bylaws – Review Process (pdf)
FAQ Sheet regarding the Amendments (pdf)
Collegium Board Reports - Excerpts (pdf)

The Nomination of Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer for General Minister and President
Report of the General Minister and President Search Committee (pdf)
Notice to the Board of Directors of Feb. 13, 2015 (pdf)
An Open Letter from the Board of Directors (pdf)
The Nomination of Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer - A Formal Motion (pdf)

Nomination of Rev. Dr. James Moos as Executive Minister of Wider Church Ministries
The Re-Nomination of Rev. Dr. James Moos - A Formal Motion. (pdf)

General Synod Opportunities
General Synod Festival Choir Invitation
General Synod Sponsorship Opportunities (pdf)
Synod Advertising Opportunities (pdf)
Ohio Conference Volunteer Opportunities at General Synod
General Synod Speak Outs (pdf)

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

7:30 pm

Pre-General Synod Worship Service

All are welcome to this pre-General Synod worship service in The Amistad Chapel at the C Sponsored by the Urban Ministries Network of the United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries, United Church of Christ, and Local Church Ministries. Join the Collegium of Officers, The Council for Racial and Ethnic Ministries, The Open and Affirming Coalition UCC and the ONA Choir for a powerful time of testimony, communion, and anointing.

8:00 am - 11:30 am

Exhibitor Move-In

8:00 am - 8:00 pm

General Registration

11:00 am

Prayer Service in Honor of Tamir Rice in the Cleveland Convention Center

Justice and Witness Ministries and the Western Reserve/Eastern Ohio Associations will be holding a prayer service in honor and memory of Tamir Rice, who was shot and killed by a Cleveland Police Officer on November 22, 2014 outside a local youth recreation center. Tamir died the following day. In midst of an exciting renaissance of downtown revitalization and economic development, the last few months have been challenging ones the hometown of our national headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland is one among many cities in this nation who have been truck by tragic situations involving police shootings of unarmed persons, among them was 12-year old Tamir Rice. All are welcome to join us in this service of lamentation. Street maps will be available for those who wish to walk to City Hall or the Justice Center as a nonviolent public witness.

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

Committees. Evening Prayer with Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb.

8:30 am

7th Plenary

Committee Reports, Keynote Speaker: Winona LaDuke

12:00 pm

Exhibit Hall Closes and Teardown

12:15 pm

Public Witness at the Offices of the Cleveland Indians Baseball Team

Justice and Witness Ministries and the UCC Council for American Indian Ministries and the Cleveland Committee of 500 Years will be delivering signed petitions calling upon the Cleveland Baseball Team to change both its team mascot, Chief Wahoo and the team name, Indians. We will circulating this petition to our members and the local surrounding communities leading up and at General Synod. We will walk to the baseball offices from the Convention Center (about a 15 minute walk). Please note that there is not a home game scheduled during the time of General Synod.

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
Plymouth Church UCC
Andover Newton Theolgical School
United Church Funds
Vanco Payment Solutions
First Congregational Church of Hudson
United Church of Christ Insurance Board

Eastern Ohio Association
Western Reserve Association
Cleveland Marriott Downtown at KeyCenter
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

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