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). Justice and Witness Ministries is especially excited to connect with you while you're at Synod. We have opportunities for justice-centered fellowship, prayer, education and fun. If you are coming to Baltimore, please consider joining our staff and partners at the following:
Justice & Witness Ministries Synod Pre-Events
All Age Our Whole Lives Training
June 27-29, 2017
Our Whole Lives is a just and inclusive ministry--bringing voice to the silence many churches maintain around issues of sexuality, living into ONA values, and shining light on the darkness of damage done to our sexuality by media and cultural messages, and abuse. What a great way to lift your voice for justice during these times! Your choice of training levels Pre-Synod in the Baltimore area! Register.
National ONA Gathering
June 27-29, 2017
The National ONA Gathering is the signature annual event for the UCC’s nationwide Open and Affirming movement. With inspiring worship and music, unforgettable preaching, informative workshops, and opportunities for rest and play, an ONA Gathering is an opportunity to renew your congregation’s passion for ONA ministry, mission, evangelism and advocacy. Register.
Justice & Witness Ministries at General Synod
Visit us at our booth anytime to meet staff, find resources, take action and more!
July 1, 2017
1:30-3:00 PM - Valerie Russell Lecture: Unnatural Causes: The Toxic Effects of Racism on Church and Society
Our speaker is Camara Phyllis Jones, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D. Dr. Jones is a family physician and epidemiologist whose work focuses on the impact of racism on the health and wellbeing of the nation. She seeks to broaden the national health debate to include not only universal access to health care but also attention to the social determinants of health (including poverty) and the social determinants of equity (including racism).
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM - Workshops - Session 1
Lessons from Standing Rock
Presented by: The Rev. Brooks Berndt, UCC Minister for Environmental Justice, The Rev. Marlene Whiterabbit Helgemo of the UCCs' Council for American Indian Ministry, and The Revs. Byron Buffalo and Toni Buffalo of the UCC's Dakota Association.
How to Become an Immigrant Welcoming and/or Sanctuary Congregation
Presented by: Noel Andersen and other individuals from UCC Justice & Witness Ministries and Church World Service.
Baltimore Convention Center Room 347
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM - Workshops - Session 2
Rated R: Race, Religion, and Radical Inclusivity
Presented by: Amy Johnson, Commissioned Minister for Sexuality and UCC Our Whole Lives Coordinator, and Elivette Mendez Angulo of UCC Proyecto Encuentras de Gracias y Bienvenida.
Resolutions Under Consideration
The General Synod of the United Church of Christ is the national decision-making body for the denomination, responsible for giving general direction to the evangelistic, missionary, and justice programs of the UCC. A number of resolutions will come under consideration during General Synod. The Synod usually makes pronouncements and passes resolutions on social and political issues judged to be of concern by delegates as well. The following are resolutions being considered that may be of particular interest to justice advocates. You can view all the resolutions on the General Synod web page.
- Calling for Participation with the Boy Scouts of America Through Inclusive Scouting Programs
- A Call for the United Church of Christ to Advocate for the Rights of Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation
- Bring Down the Wall in the Caribbean
- Resolution of Support for Establishing Relationships Between United Church of Christ Settings and Community Development Federal Credit Unions
- On Recognizing and Studying Gun Violence as a Public Health Emergency
- On Becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Church
- A More Just Economy: Living Wages and Job Creation
- Resolution of Witness in Support of Legislation Authorizing Aid in Dying
- Enact Minimum Wage Laws of $15 Per Hour
- Toward Disability Justice: A Call to the Church and Churches
- Affirming the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' Boycott of Wendy's
- The Earth Is the Lord’s-Not Ours to Wreck; Imperatives for a New Era