From fruit to nuts, local cookies add special flavor to General Synod
Written by Tim Kershner July 1, 2011
entrance to Room 6 in the Tampa Convention Center is a sign featuring Sesame
Street’s “Cookie Monster.” For those working inside the room, the beloved “monster”
represents the passion that members of the Florida Conference demonstrated in
baking cookies for delegates and visitors to General Synod 28.
Thursday, more than 10,000 dozen cookies began arriving from churches
throughout the Florida Conference – from the Panhandle to the Gulf Coast – for
sorting and eventual distribution to committee rooms, plenary sessions,
offices, and anywhere people look for a baked treat.
this is Florida, many of varieties carry a distinct Sunshine State influence.
Bunny Gruntler, a member of Sunset Congregational UCC in Miami and the cookie
committee’s Southeast Chair, claims to have a fondness for the orange with
chocolate chip cookie. Other varieties waiting for consumption are lemon pecan,
lemon ginger and orange date pinwheel. The cream of the cookie crop may be
either the mango shortbread or the orange with chocolate chip. For the more
traditional cookie consumer, there are still plenty of oatmeal, sugar,
snickerdoodles and chocolate chip. Many cookies are available in sugar free,
lactose free and nut free varieties.
cookies were baked in the shape of our familiar UCC comma. Harold Kuhn, a
member of First Congregational UCC in Sarasota, and owner of Kuhn Tool and Die,
accepted a challenge to create a cookie cutter to challenge churches to
participate in this baking project. Gruntler distributed 100 cutters to
churches for their cookies. An additional 65 cutters are for sale in the
Florida UCC Women’s booth.
This is Gruntler’s first General Synod and she learned early that the pressure on the
cookie committee was tremendous. When she asked people what was so special
about General Synod, before they mentioned the worship services or the
workshops or the plenary sessions, she said people responded “the cookies.”
Joy Kuhn said
that everyone involved in the cookie project is “just so thankful” that so many
people from throughout the state went out of their way to bake and deliver
cookies for this Synod. She is proud to say “we’re all doing this because we’re
here to ‘Imagine What’s Possible.’ ”