When more than 220 young people from 16 Conferences get together amazing things happen.
Youth @ General Synod has been a week-long event combining three days of faith-based service work in greater Grand Rapids with General Synod events and youth programming.
During Monday evening's plenary, the Rev. Kelly Burd, minister for youth and young adult ministries, reported that participants worked a combined 2700 hours at 15 different service sites over three days. Work included mulching a large public playground at McCay Park, framing and building houses with Habitat for Humanity International, and stocking food for South End Community Outreach Ministries.
Former General Synod Assistant Moderator Eric C. Smith provided an overview of General Synod to youth on Friday. He then guided Youth @ General Synod participants through an actual resolution, allowing youth to experience the discernment and voting process.
Programs on faith, justice and service have prepared participants to take what they have done and learned at General Synod back to their local communities and congregations.
In addition to Youth @ General Synod, young adults and the 2030 Clergy Network found opportunities to gather this week in parks and pubs and hotel plazas.
Elections for the UCC Council for Youth and Young Adult Ministries were held and results will be announced at the end of Synod.
"Please join me in recognizing all the youth who have been here at General Synod and also their exhausted leaders who have given their time to make this possible," Burd said, as the entire assembly rose to its feet and cheered.