Youth and Young Adults at General Synod

Youth and Young Adults at General Synod
About
Registration
Policies, Waivers, Covenants and Agreements
Housing / Meals
Programs
Agenda / Schedule
Notes

Register Now!

Welcome

Sometimes God will show up in the most unexpected places and at unexpected moments in our lives. Have you ever sung a song and just started to cry tears of joy and happiness? Have you ever felt peace and comfort by the look, fragrance or gesture of flowers? Have you left home for summer camp and returned renewed in spirit or inspired to make a difference in the world after rock climbing, exploring a labyrinth or making new friends?  How have you encountered God in unexpected ways? Where has God shown up untraditionally and out of the box in your life? These are the questions we will explore together at Youth and Young Adults at General Synod this summer in Cleveland at GS30.
 
The officers and staff of the National Setting of the United Church of Christ welcome you home to Cleveland. We have fun and exciting programming geared up for our Stillspeaking participants. And yes, it is true—Cleveland rocks and so do you! See you at GS30 in 2015.
 
Rev. Waltrina Middleton
National Minister for Youth Advocacy and Leadership Formation
youth@ucc.org

GS 30 Scripture and Theme

The scriptural inspiration for General Synod 30's theme is "Unexpected Places". It comes from Genesis 28:15-16, part of which reads, "Surely God is in this place, and I did not know it." The theme is a nod to the notion that humanity encounters the Stillspeaking God in unexpected places and moments.

What is Youth and Young Adults at GS?

Youth and Young Adults at General Synod or Y&YA@GS is an official outreach of the United Church of Christ's General Synod which is held biannually.  The location changes every two years. Stillspeaking Y&YA groups from all across the country convene with pre-synod activities designed to connect them with their UCC History & Polity, service, justice, leadership and faith!
 
The program typically begins two to three days prior to the official opening worship and plenary for General Synod. Since General Synod does not officially begin until Friday evening, the youth have the distinction of being the unofficial welcoming committee to the entire General Synod, demonstrating Extravagant Welcome!
 
Y&YA at GS30 program will begin Thursday, June 25.

What Makes Us UCC?

Check out UCC 101.
 
Who are the Participants?

Youth and Young Adults at General Synod is for youth participants between the ages of 13 and 18 years old and young adults between the ages of 19 and 20.
 
Participation is not based on grade level. Adult group leaders and chaperones must be at least 23 years of age and older. In keeping with our safe conduct policies, the group chaperones and leaders must be at least three years older than young adult participant in the overall program.
 
We strongly recommend an adult to participant ratio of 1:8. In addition, if the group has participants of mixed genders, there should be at least one adult of each gender.

What if I am not in the Age Category Listed?

To inquire further about age requirements, please contact 216-736-3871 or youth@ucc.org.

Registration and Costs

There is a program fee of $75 for the Youth & Young Adults at General Synod program.
 
Housing, meals and General Synod registration are additional costs and the responsibility of the groups.

Youth & Young Adults at General Synod Program Fee
General Synod Registration – 13 to 18 years old
General Synod Registration – 19 and older
Youth & Young Adult Housing Per Night Rate + Taxes

$ 75.00
$150.00
$247.50
$137.00 Single Occupancy/ $ 68.50 Double



Registration requires acknowledgement of all safe conduct policies, waivers and covenants by all participants, guardians/parents, group leaders and chaperones.

Refunds and Substitute Registrations

All registration and General Synod related fees are non-refundable. However, it is possible to substitute one registrant for another if needed.
In order to substitute a new participant’s name for a cancellation of another participant, please email youth@ucc.org for forms and additional details.

Special Needs

Y&YA @GS is a welcoming and accessible space for all participants.  For requests or details on Mobility & Special Needs at General Synod, contact 216-736-3871 or youth@ucc.org.

Safe Church Conduct, Policies, Waivers and Covenants

The United Church of Christ's Insurance Board has compiled UCC Safe Conduct resources as a model and guide to safety measures for youth trips, conferences, gatherings and the likes. These resources are not exclusively for youth ministry and outreach and can be applied for wider church outreach involving all ages. Registration requires acknowledgement of all safe conduct policies, waivers and covenants by all participants, guardians/parents, group leaders and chaperones. The following resources are accessible via ucc.org/youth under UCC Youth Resources:
 
Covenants and Agreements
Health and Wellness
Medical Release Form
Media Release Form
UCC Safe Conduct Workbench
State Laws and Regulations for Camps
Good Samaritan Laws
 
Covenants and Agreements

All participants of Youth & Young Adults @ General Synod and United Church of Christ's programs and outreach enter into agreement to honor and abide by the UCC Policies for Safe Conduct and Abuse Prevention. Registration for UCC programs demonstrate consent to honor these covenants, policies and agreements. Registration requires acknowledgement of all safe conduct policies, waivers and covenants by all participants, guardians/parents, group leaders and chaperones. Violation of these covenants, policies and agreements may result in dismissal from the event without refund and at individual/group expense. Adult leaders and chaperones take responsibility for insuring all members of their group and their guardians/parents are familiar with covenants, policies and agreements before participant registers and engage in Synod events.
 
Adult leaders and chaperones are required to maintain a hard copy of signed covenants, policies and agreements, waivers and release forms for each registered participant (inclusive of youth, young adults and adults). A second copy must be provided at check-in for all participating group members. A copy of all covenants, policies, waivers & agreements are found at www.ucc.org/youth under Youth Resources.
 
We strongly recommend an adult to participant ratio of 1:8. In addition, if the group has participants of mixed genders, there should be at least one adult of each gender.
 
Young adults (ages 19 and 20) will complete the covenant forms for adults.

Safe Space

The UCC is committed to providing safe spaces for all. If you experience bullying, personal violation threatening body, mind or spirit or if counseling is needed, clinical pastoral professionals are available. Violations of any kind will not be tolerated, inclusive of cyber, in-person, electronic, verbal, physical or varying forms. Contact 216-736-3871 or youth@ucc.org. Matters of urgent and immediate need, contact 911 and group leader.

Housing

A special discounted double occupancy housing rate of $137 per night or $68.50 per person (plus taxes) has been reserved for a limited time solely for registered Youth & Young Adults at General Synod groups. Housing is an add-on option not included in your program or registration rate for Y&YA @GS program. Once you/your group register for Y&YA @GS, registrants will be directed to reservations for exclusive optional housing booking. Double occupancy includes one bed per participant and rooms shared must be of the same gender.
 
The guaranteed discounted rate for Youth and Young Adults @ General Synod participants will expire, March 20, 2015 (11:59 PM Eastern Time). This special rate is unmatched and negotiated exclusively for our Y&YA at General Synod participants. After March 20, you may continue to register for the program thru June 12, 2015 but will be on your own for housing in Cleveland.
 
For more housing details visit: http://www.ucc.org/synod/ (Click on the Housing Tab).

Accessible Housing

Y&YA @GS preferred housing is accessible and also conveniently located near the Cleveland Convention Center. For Mobility & Special Needs Requests, contact 216-736-3871.

Meals

•  Join us for a Welcome BBQ Mixer at the Doubletree Hotel, 3:30 PM until 4:30 PM. This meal is included in your registration.
•  Join us for a boundary breaking dinner in the city, as we break bread with persons in need in Cleveland’s Downtown Public Square, welcoming all to the table. In partnership with Bread for the World and City of Cleveland agencies dedicated to hunger and homelessness, Youth and Young Adults at General Synod presents Welcome to the Table, Meal in the City. This is an optional dining meal with additional cost. Register for the Youth and Young Adults Optional meal during General Synod registration. The meal is scheduled for Saturday, June 27, 5 PM to 6 PM in Downtown Cleveland. Email youth@ucc.org for details.

Cleveland Rocks Optional Field Day

We want you to enjoy every component offered during General Synod and that includes the amazing city of Cleveland. Use downtime to explore the host city with your adult chaperones/leaders and group. We encourage all groups to stay together while exploring the host city. Join us Monday, June 29 for the Youth & Young Adult program’s “Cleveland Rocks Field Day” optional field day activities. See program agenda.
 
You may also check out the General Synod’s Area Highlights and Links found at http://www.ucc.org/synod/ for places to visit and things to do in the area.

Youthread (Y|R ) | All Church Read

Y|R was launched at General Synod 29 in Long Beach featuring our first book Spiritual But Not Religious is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church and it was a major success. We are now inviting the wider church to join us as we share in the UCC's church-wide initiative to raise awareness about how illiteracy directly impacts a range of social justice issues.
 
Youthread (Y|R ) | All Church Read invites readers to search, question, explore and also laugh, share, and be in community with other young leaders and the wider church. It is  open to youth, young adults, book and Nook® worms of all ages.

Youth | All Church Read Featured Author

Rob Shindler believes in second chances. The Chicago-based author and attorney hopes his book, "Hotdogs & Hamburgers," raises awareness around adult illiteracy and inspires readers to become part of the solution by helping others learn to read. Now a literacy advocate, Shindler and the United Church of Christ are partnering for Reading Changes Lives, the UCC's church-wide initiative to raise awareness about how illiteracy directly impacts a range of social justice issues.
 
"Hotdogs & Hamburgers" chronicles Shindler's journey to help his son, Oliver, overcome a reading deficiency by volunteering to teach adults how to read. The "One Read" launched Sept. 8, 2014 on National Literacy Day. "Hotdogs & Hamburgers: Unlocking Life's Potential by Inspiring Literacy at Any Age," is currently available with free shipping for $11.99 single copy or $45 for a five-book package from UCC Resources. An eBook is available directly through Amazon, and an audio version of the book will also be made available. In addition, a free discussion guide and suggested timeline for continuing the literacy initiative into 2015 is available.
 
Y&YA @GS30 will host a Book Signing and Forum with Shindler and his children, Sunday, June 28, 10 AM – 12:15 PM in the Y&YA Hall – Cleveland Convention Center.
 
Reading Changes Lives Initiative
 
Author Rob Shindler, UCC work together to change lives through literacy
 
Youthread (Y|R ) | All Church Read Schedule at a Glance

Y|R Book
Hotdogs & Hamburgers: Unlocking Life's Potential by Inspiring Literacy at Any Age by Rob Shindler.
 
Y|R at Synod
Sunday, June 28, 10 AM to 11 AM - Convention Hall A (Y&YA 24-Hour Space)
 
Y|R Book Signing
Sunday, June 28, 11:15 AM to 12:15 PM - Convention Hall C (UCC Resource Store, Exhibit Hall)
 
Order Your Y|R Copy
Order "Hotdogs & Hamburgers" at UCC Resources

Program and Agenda
The agenda is subject to change. Notice of updates will be posted.

08:00 am - 05:00 pm

Welcome and Registration at Cleveland Convention Center

Details to come

03:30 pm - 04:30 pm

Welcome BBQ Mixer at Doubletree Hotel at Lakeside

Included in Registration

06:00 pm

Board buses for Theatre District of Cleveland (Convention Center's Lakeside entrance)

6:30 pm Prompt departure of buses to Theatre District from Convention Center

07:00 pm - 09:00 pm

Unexpected Places: Theater as a Change Agent

Cleveland has the second largest theater district in the country only after New York City. We are partnering up with local theatre houses to bring a fun and exciting evening program. Witness theater as a change agent, reflecting on stage the realities of our communities, nation and world and providing inspiration for response and action. Youth and young adults will participate in theater exercises with local thespians and further, meet with playwrights, producers and community organizers committed to using fine arts as a tool of justice.

09:15 pm

Board buses to return to Convention Center (Lakeside entrance)

9:45 - 10:00pm Buses arrive and drop off at Convention Center (Lakeside entrance) & Doubletree Hotel

10:00 pm

After Hours Hang Out

Groups may use Hang Outs for evening reflections, devotion and/or check-ins. Group leaders will designate curfews, but 11:30 PM is recommended lights out time.

11:30 pm

Recommended Lights Out

07:00 am - 09:30 pm

Breakfast on your own and group time: breakfast, devotion and/or check-in

10:00 am - 12:00 noon

Youth & Justice in Unexpected Places: UCC History & Polity – Convention Hall A

This specialized UCC History and Polity course will not only help our young leaders identify with denominational legacy and functionality from their location as youth and young adults; but also help expand UCC History and Polity with a global society engaged in justice work in the wider church, i.e., the world. How are youth and young adults a part of that legacy and story? For many of our participants, this will be their first Synod and their first encounter with the UCC outside of their local or conference settings. Thus, this course is critical as it sets the tone and serves as an introduction to the Wider UCC community for many. For others it is a reaffirmation of their UCC identity and ties. In Tampa, the UCC History and Polity focused on Women in Leadership in the UCC. In Long Beach, we explored being an Open and Affirming denomination. In 2015, we seek to affirm how our diverse denominational History and Polity involves and applies to young leaders, their world, their location, their experiences, their challenges, and beyond. Participants will learn how youth and young adults have impacted, transformed and chartered courses in the UCC story and continue to be a part of that history right now. Two prophetic voices and trailblazers of the UCC will co-facilitate what will be a historic and rich session. Registration in youth and young adult program is required.

12:00 pm - 02:00 pm

Lunch on your own and Free time.

(See GS30 Schedule for Optional Educational Intensives)

02:00 pm - 03:00 pm

Unexpected Places: Innovation Lab Part I – Convention Hall A

Rev. Phil Hart and Ohio Conference will introduce fun and yes, innovative tools to help connect and equip innovators. This outreach will serve as a great resource for young adults seeking new ways to remain connected in the life of the church post youth age-group. This forum will introduce unexpected concepts for leadership, mission and reimagining church.

03:00 pm - 05:00 pm

1st Plenary Session – Convention Hall B

05:00 pm - 07:15 pm

Dinner on your own and free time.

(See GS30 Schedule for Optional Dining Events)

07:30 pm - 09:00 pm

Opening Worship – Convention Hall C

09:30 pm - 10:30 pm

Cleveland Rocks Youth & Young Adults Welcome Hang Out

11:30 pm

Recommended Lights Out

Group leaders will designate curfews, but 11:30 PM is recommended lights out time.

09:00 am - 11:00 am

1st Plenary Session – Convention Hall B

11:45 am - 12:00 noon

UCC Youth & Young Adults Staging for Cleveland Pride Parade

12:00 noon - 2:00 pm

Cleveland Pride Parade

Help create a walking rainbow! Sign up details TBA

02:00pm - 05:00 pm

STUFF THE BUS. Reading Changes Lives–Official GS Service Project–Convention Hall A

Remember how amazing you rocked the Reading Labyrinth at National Youth Event 2012? You helped collect nearly 6,000 books for local literacy advocacy agencies and you helped raise awareness around the challenges of illiteracy in our society. Your leadership, vision and amazing work lives on at General Synod 30. There will be two buses parked inside of the Cleveland Convention Center during General Synod. One of the two buses will be in Convention Hall A (Youth & Young Adult Hall). Help us stuff the bus! Bring one or more books to Youth and Young Adult Hall A to match or surpass our NYE donations.

02:00 pm - 08:00 pm

Youth Town at Pride Festival

Voinovich Bicentennial Park, 800 E. 9th St., Cleveland, Ohio 44114

02:30 pm - 03:30 pm

TIE SESSIONS (Youth & Young Adult Sponsored Workshops) – Convention Hall A

Interested in ending world hunger? What about becoming an advocate for human rights? Want to learn more about answering your call in ministry and service? Come to a TIE Workshop designed with youth and young adults in mind. There will also be sessions for group leaders.

05:00 pm - 07:15 pm

Dinner on your own and Free time.

(See GS30 Schedule for Optional Dining Events)

05:00 pm - 06:00 pm

Unexpected Places: Welcome to the Table, Meal in the City

(Optional Meal, additional cost) We are taking the optional meal (formerly called sponsored meals) to the streets—literally. Join us for this boundary breaking dinner in the city, as we break bread with persons in need, welcoming all to the table. UCC’s Ministry for Youth is proud to host the first Welcome to the City, Meal in the City at General Synod. All registrants for the meal are invited to join us in downtown Cleveland to share a meal in a beloved community experience. Meet us at Cleveland’s Free Stamp (located at Lakeside between 6th and 9th Streets) to break bread in community, Christ, and cause. Specific location details will be sent to all registered participants. Your meal contributions will support local Cleveland non-profit agencies working daily to combat hunger and homelessness. All youth participants must be accompanied with adult chaperone(s). For more information, please email youth@ucc.org or call 216-736-3871. Add this meal to your GS30 registration.

7:30 pm - ?

A Very Special GS30 Evening Event

tba

9:30 pm - 10:30 pm

Afterhours Hang Out — Cleveland Convention Center Hall A

11:30 pm

Recommended Lights Out

Group leaders will designate curfews, but 11:30 PM is recommended lights out time.

Ongoing

STUFF THE BUS. Reading Changes Lives–Official GS Service Project–Convention Hall A

07:00 am - 09:30 am

Breakfast on your own and group time

Group leaders will designate morning schedule including breakfast, devotion and check-in.

10:00 am - 11:00 am

2nd Bi-Annual Youth/All Church Read with Rob Shindler

Convention Hall A

11:15 am - 12:15 pm

Book Signing with Author Rob Shindler

Convention Hall C at UCC Store, Exhibit Hall

12:15 pm - 02:15 pm

See GS30 Schedule for Optional Dining Events

12:15 pm - 02:15 pm

Confirmation Fun-day

Tour the Amistad Chapel and the National UCC Offices. This outreach is open to all, but designed with confirmation groups in mind.

03:00 pm - 05:00 pm

GS30 Worship

05:00 pm

Dinner on your own and Free time.

(See GS30 Schedule for Optional Dining Events)

07:30 pm - 09:30 pm

Worshipalooza—Unexpected Praise – Convention Hall A

Featuring Special Performing Artists! You don’t want to miss this!

11:30 pm

Recommended Lights Out

Group leaders will designate curfews, but 11:30 PM is recommended lights out time.

Ongoing

STUFF THE BUS. Reading Changes Lives–Official GS Service Project–Convention Hall A

07:00 am - 09:30 am

Breakfast on your own and group time

Group leaders will designate morning schedule including breakfast, devotion and check-in.

08:30 am - 12:00 noon

3rd Plenary

Convention Hall B

12:00 noon - 02:15 pm

Optional Dining Events

See GS30 Schedule for Optional Dining Events

12:15 pm - 02:15 pm

Lunch in the Lanes

Hang out with us for bowling & lunch at Corner Alleys (4th Street & Euclid). Additional cost.

02:30 pm - 05:00 pm

4th Plenary

Convention Hall B

05:00 pm - 07:15 pm

Optional Dining Events

See GS30 Schedule for Optional Dining Events

07:30 pm - 08:30 pm

5th Plenary

Convention Hall B

08:45 pm - 10:00 pm

Worship

10:00 pm

Late Night Film & Reflection with special guest

Doubletree Hotel

11:30 pm

Recommended Lights Out

Group leaders will designate curfews, but 11:30 PM is recommended lights out time.

07:00 am

Breakfast on your own

08:30 am - 12:00 pm

6th Plenary

Convention Hall B

12:00 noon - 02:15 pm

Optional Dining Events

See GS30 Schedule for Optional Dining Events

12:00 noon

Exhibit Hall Closes

02:30 pm - 05:00 pm

7th Plenary

Convention Hall B

07:30 pm

Closing Worship

GS30 Youth and Young Adult Vision Team
Details coming soon.

Quick Notes

Dates, Registration and Cost

•  Youth and Young Adults at General Synod runs Thursday, June 25 through Tuesday, June 30.
•  General Synod officially begins Friday, June 26 with opening worship & plenary.
•  Registration for Youth and Young Adults at General Synod opens October 15. There is a program fee of $75, plus General Synod registration, meals and housing.
•  Housing cost for the youth is set by the GS Planning committee and it is $137 + taxes (double occupancy) available, October 15 as a part of your on-line registration through March 20, 2015 (11:59 PM Eastern Time).  After that time you may continue to register for the Youth @ General Synod program until June 12, 2015 but will be on your own for housing in Cleveland.
•  Youth and Young Adults at General Synod Registration opens October 15. Visit www.ucc.org/synod for more details on General Synod 30.

24-hour Youth and Young Adults Space

•  All activities unless otherwise noted will be hosted in Convention Center Space C in the Long Beach Convention Center. In the event of a room space change, please see the Convention Center's main lobby for signage. Information on room changes will also be in the Synod Business Office.
•  TIE: Theological, Interactive & Educational—These are on-going interactive educational resources in Youth Hall A, hosted by sponsors, covenanted partners of the national setting and wider church.
•  After-hours activities will begin promptly as scheduled even in the event of delayed worship or plenary sessions. All After-hours unless otherwise noted will be held in Y&YA Hall A.

Contact Information

Rev. Waltrina Middleton | Minister for Youth Advocacy and Leadership Formation | 216-736-3871 | youth@ucc.org
 

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