GENERAL SYNOD 2017

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General Synod 2017

June 30-July 4, 2017 | Baltimore, MD

Baltimore Convention Center | #UCCGS

Live Resolutions Photos

About General Synod 2017

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 2017, thousands from across the country (and abroad) will gather for General Synod 2017 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland. 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 2017, we will "Make Glad!" as we celebrate, debate, worship and witness. Join us. Come back to this site in coming weeks and months for lots more information.

General Synod Program & Agenda

Agenda in PDF Format

Tuesday 4:00 PM

National ONA Gathering

Details Here. 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, 2017 to 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday 2:00 PM

UCC Polity Course

Hosted by Lancaster Theological Seminary. 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm. Location TBA.

Wednesday 6:30 PM

UCC Polity Course

Hosted by Lancaster Theological Seminary. 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm. Location TBA.

Thursday 9:00 AM

UCC Polity Course

Hosted by Lancaster Theological Seminary. 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. Location TBA.

Thursday 2:00 PM

Baltimore: Before and After Freddie Gray

2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Description Here.

Thursday 2:00 PM

UCC Polity Course

Hosted by Lancaster Theological Seminary. 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm. Location TBA.

9:00 AM

UCC Polity Course

Hosted by Lancaster Theological Seminary. 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. Location TBA.

9:00 AM

Member in Discernment Breakfast

Baltimore Convention Center Room 327-328. 9:00 am - 11:00 am.

12:00 PM

Exhibit Hall Open

12:00-6:00 PM

12:00 PM

Lead by Example HIV Testing

Booth 102 in the Exhibit Hall. 12:00-2:00 PM

1:00 PM

Educational Intensives

2:00 PM

UCC Polity Course

Hosted by Lancaster Theological Seminary. 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Location TBA.

2:30 PM

Opening Worship

3:45 PM

First Plenary

5:00 PM
5:00 PM

Church Vitality Mixer for Conference/Denominational Staff

LCM Hospitality Suite, Marriott Hotel Room 902. 5:00-7:00 pm.

7:15 PM

Synod Committee in Session

9:30 PM

UCC Science and Technology Network Mixer

Details Here

9:30 PM

After Hours Reception for 20/30s Clergy & MIDs

Hilton Baltimore (401 West Pratt Street) in the Peale Room. 9:30-11:30.

8:00 AM

Second Plenary

8:00 am - 11:30 am. Exhibit Hall F

9:00 AM

Exhibit Hall Open

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

11:30 AM
11:30 AM

Lead by Example HIV Testing

Booth 102 in the Exhibit Hall. 11:30 AM-2:00 PM

1:30 PM

Workshops - Session 1

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM - Details Here

1:30 PM

Valerie Russell Lecture: Unnatural Causes: The Toxic Effects of Racism on Church and Society

Details Here

1:30 PM

Blue Water Baltimore

Full Information Here

1:30 PM

Service Projects

Details Here

3:00 PM

Workshops - Session 2

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM - Details Here

5:00 PM
6:00 PM

General Synod Gala Fundraiser

Free Time

8:00 AM

Committees in Session

If Needed

8:00 AM

Meet the Candidate

Rooms 341 and 342 of the Baltimore Convention Center

9:00 AM

Hearings

Information

9:00 AM

Exhibit Hall Open

9:00 AM - 1:30 PM

11:30 AM
11:30 AM

Lead by Example HIV Testing

Booth 102 in the Exhibit Hall. 11:30 AM-1:00 PM

1:00 PM

Search and Call Fair

Baltimore Convention Center Room 339-342. 1:00 – 2:30 pm.

1:30 PM

Injustice Walks

Full Information Here

2:30 PM

Community Worship Service

4:30 PM

Exhibit Hall Open

4:30 PM - 8:00 PM

5:00 PM
7:00 PM

Third Plenary

9:30 PM

UCC New Church Planters Cocktail Hour

LCM Hospitality Suite (suite number to be announced), Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor Hotel. 9:30 - 11:00 pm.

All Day

Information Coming

8:00 AM

Fourth Plenary

9:00 AM

Exhibit Hall Open

9:00 AM - 8:00 PM

12:00 PM

Lunch

Optional Dining Events
Rev. Dr. John Deckenback Memorial Crab Feed

12:00 PM

Interim Ministers' Reception

Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor Hotel. 110 S Eutaw St. LCM Hospitality Suite – suite number yet to be determined. 12:00 – 2:00 pm.

2:30 PM

Fifth Plenary

4:45 PM

Antoinette Brown Society Happy Hour

Baltimore Convention Center Room 322. 4:45 – 6:15 pm.

5:00 PM
5:00 PM

UCC Research and Statistics Mixer

Details Here

7:00 PM

Sixth Plenary

8:45 PM

Worship Service

9:00 PM

MID Happy Hour

Members in Discernment are invited to socialize over drinks and snacks. Co-sponsored by the UCC MID Network and the MESA Ministry Team.. LCM Hospitality Suite, Marriott Hotel Room 902. 9:00-11:00 pm.

8:00 AM

Seventh Plenary

9:00 AM

Exhibit Hall Open

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

11:30 AM
1:00 PM

Eighth Plenary

3:00 PM

Closing Worship Service

4:30 PM

Adjournment

8:00 AM

Visit to Washington D.C.

8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Description Here. *There is a wait list for this event. Names are being accepted should there be a cancellation.

9:00 AM

UCC Polity Course

Hosted by Lancaster Theological Seminary. 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. Location TBA.

Speakers, Preachers & Workshops


General Synod 2017 Keynote Speakers

Glennon Doyle
Glennon Doyle
Acclaimed author
Glennon Doyle is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love Warrior, which was chosen as one of Oprah’s Book Club picks for 2016, as well as the inspiring and hilarious New York Times bestseller, Carry On, Warrior. Doyle is the founder of Momastery, an on-line community where millions of readers meet each week to experience her shameless and laugh-out-loud funny essays about faith, freedom, addiction, recovery, motherhood and serving the marginalized. She is a speaker, activist, and the creator and president of Together Rising, a non-profit organization that has raised seven million dollars for families around the world through “Love Flash Mobs,” which have revolutionized online giving.

Ms. Doyle will speak Saturday morning.
Aaron Mair
Aaron Mair
Environmental Activist
Aaron Mair brings three-plus decades of environmental activism, and 25 years as a Sierra Club volunteer leader, to his new position as the Sierra Club’s first African American president. During his time with the Sierra Club, an environmental organization and one of the first large-scale preservation groups in the country, Mair has shown a commitment to grassroots action, environmental justice, and transforming the culture of the Sierra Club to make it — in his words — "a more welcoming environment to all people, regardless of their race or socio-economic status." He became a Sierra Club member in 1999 after leading a decade-long battle to shut down a solid waste incinerator in inner-city Albany, N.Y., culminating in a $1.6 million settlement to the affected residents. Mair also helped secure the Sierra Club's participation in the Clean Up the Hudson campaign, which resulted in a settlement between the EPA and General Electric to dredge toxic sediments from the Upper Hudson River.

Mr. Mair will speak Monday morning.


General Synod 2017 Preachers

Rev. Traci Blackmon
Rev. Traci Blackmon
ACTING EXECUTIVE MINISTER
The Rev. Traci Blackmon is the Acting Executive Minister of Justice and Witness Ministries and Senior Pastor of Christ the King United Church of Christ in Florissant, Missouri. She is the nominee of the search committee for call by election by the Thirty-first General Synod to the position of Executive Minister, Justice and Witness Ministries. She holds degrees from Birmingham-Southern College and Eden Theological Seminary. A featured voice in many regional, national and international media outlets and a frequent contributor to print publications, her work in the aftermath of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, has gained her recognition as an acclaimed leader for racial and economic justice. She served on the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-based Neighborhood Partnership during the Obama administration, and was recently named as one of St. Louis’ 100 most influential voices.

Rev. Blackmon will preach Friday evening.
Rev. Dr. David Vásquez-Levy
Rev. Dr. David Vasquez-Levy
PRESIDENT
The Rev. Dr. David Vásquez-Levy serves as President of Pacific School of Religion. A committed pastor, nationally recognized immigration leader, and sought after speaker, Dr. Vásquez-Levy leads at the intersections of faith, higher education, and social change. He regularly contributes a faith perspective to the national conversation on immigration and is the author of various publications that explore migration stories in sacred texts and in people’s lives. He has lived in four countries and taught courses and led international study and service trips across the globe. Dr. Vásquez-Levy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Texas Lutheran University and a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry in Preaching degrees from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

Rev. Dr. Vásquez-Levy will preach Monday evening.
Rev. Kim Kendrick
Rev. Kim Kendrick
PASTOR
Rev. Kim Kendrick is one of the Senior Co-Pastors of Living Water United Church of Christ in Philadelphia, PA. A 2014 graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary, she serves as the Chaplain of Bethany Children’s Home in Womelsdorf, PA, providing pastoral care, worship leadership, and juvenile justice advocacy to over 75 high- risk youth and is a member of the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference Committee on Ministry. Rev. Kendrick is a certified Our Whole Lives facilitator, conducting workshops on Human Sexuality and Spirituality for Youth and Young Adults, serves the UCC Open and Affirming Coalition as Youth Consultant, and was the Chaplain for the 2016 UCC National Youth Event.

Rev. Kendrick will preach Tuesday afternoon.
Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer
Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer
General Minister and President
The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer is the ninth General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ, elected at the Thirtieth General Synod in 2015. Previously, Dr. Dorhauer served as the Conference Minister of the UCC Southwest Conference, served as Associate Conference Minister in the Missouri Mid-South Conference, and pastor at First Congregational United Church of Christ and Zion United Church of Christ, in rural Missouri. He holds degrees from Eden Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary, where he studied white privilege and its effects on the church. He is the author of Beyond Resistance: The Institutional Church Meets the Postmodern World and co-author of Steeplejacking: How the Christian Right is Hijacking Mainstream Religion.

Rev. Dorhauer will preach on Sunday afternoon.


General Synod 2017 Theological Reflectors

Raven Rowe
Raven Rowe
CHAPLAIN
Raven Rowe is a chaplain with St. Luke's Hospital / Unity Point in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In her role as a chaplain, she specifically assigned to work in the behavioral health and chemical dependency units. Raven is currently seeking ordination with the United Church of Christ. Having just completed her Master of Divinity at Chicago Theological Seminary in May 2016, she continues to seek further education and certification in these areas of expertise. Her passions are queer inclusion and queer theology, and she is very passionate about gender issues, especially related to gender non-binary and gender non-conforming.
Rev. Dr. Damaris Whittaker
Rev. Dr. Damaris Whittaker
MINISTER
Rev. Dr. Damaris D. Whittaker has served as Minister at Center Church – First Church of Christ in Hartford, CT, since 2012. Previously, Dr. Whittaker was the Director of Marketing and Development at the Christian Activities Council of Hartford and Co-Pastor at Iglesia Cristiana Nueva Esperanza UCC, also in Hartford. An active speaker and advocate on issues of domestic violence, women’s leadership and health care, Dr. Whittaker has worked in grassroots organizations that provide pastoral and substance abuse counseling. She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from New York Theological Seminary.

General Synod 2017 News

See a complete list of stories here

General Synod 2017 Exhibitors

Baltimore, Maryland

Housing Information

Housing

#
Hotel
Room Rate
Check-in/Out
Parking
Pet Policy
Pool
1
Hilton Baltimore
$179.00
tax per night
4:00 PM / 12:00 Noon
self parking: $30.00/per day
valet parking: $43.00/per day
Pet Friendly
Deposit Required
Yes
2
Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor
$149.00
tax per night
4:00 PM / 12:00 Noon
self parking: $29.00/per day
No Pets
No
3
Holiday Inn Inner Harbor
$139.00
tax per night
3:00 PM / 12:00 Noon
self parking: $28.00/per day
Pet Friendly
Deposit Required
Yes
4
Hyatt Regency Baltimore
$169.00
tax per night
4:00 PM / 12:00 Noon
self parking: $30.00/per day
valet parking: $42.00/per day
Pet Friendly
Yes
5
Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace
$149.00
tax per night
4:00 PM / 12:00 Noon
self parking: $30.00/per day
valet parking: $43.00/per day
No Pets
Yes

All hotels include restaurant, bar/lounge, fitness center and free wi-fi. Parking rates subject to change.

Area Highlights and Links

Parking in downtown Baltimore can be challenging, even on the weekends because of the many events, such as Orioles baseball games, often scheduled on Saturday and Sunday. To assist our guests who will be driving to the downtown area for Sunday's Community Worship or the Saturday evening Gala or for any other Synod function Synod has partnered with ParkingPanda which will let you select parking spots by distance and price. For length-of-Synod or for event by event parking ParkingPanda can help. It can also find parking for buses by clicking the filters near the top left of the page. ParkingPanda is available here.

General Synod is Presented by

Church Building and Loan Fund
Insurance Board
Chicago Theological Seminary
United Church Funds
Pension Boards