God's VisionLove
Blank
Youth at General Synod

Wednesday, June 26 – Tuesday, July 02**
Long Beach, California


Welcome Still Speaking Youth & Group Leaders!

Have you ever wondered about God's Vision for our lives?

Have you ever looked up into the sky and pondered on GOD'S PURPOSE?

Our wondrous God has unmatched divine imagination and the ability to dream up creation out of a deep void. As if that is not exciting enough, WE ARE CREATED out of God's own image. When we look into the mirror, we are a reflection of GOD'S VISION! Perhaps that means we are visionaries, too!

So what is God's Vision? What is God calling us to be and do? This is the theme for General Synod 29: God's Vision:______.

Notice we didn't fill in the blank for you. Just as God is still speaking, we believe God's Vision is a continuous revelation manifesting itself in unique ways to each individual. You can fill in the blank if you would like or you could leave it wide open for the Holy Spirit to lead and guide, inspire and encourage you on your walk with our Lord!

WELCOME to YOUTH @ GENERAL SYNOD 29. We pray, while you are there in community, worship and service, you will encounter God's Vision for your life. 

Learn more about General Synod dates, registration costs and programs at www.ucc.org/synod.

One Church Sharing in God's Vision,

Waltrina N. Middleton
UCC Minister for Youth Advocacy & Leadership Formation
Youth at General Synod 29 (Y@GS)

Check out the welcome from GS Administrator W. Mark Clark

What's Y@GS?
Youth at General Synod or Y@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 youth groups from all across the country convene for three days of pre-synod activities designed to connect them with their UCC History & Polity, service, justice, leadership and faith!

The program typically begins on a Wednesday evening and runs through Friday afternoon prior to the Synod's opening worship & plenary. 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!

What makes us UCC?
Check out UCC 101.

Who are the participants?
Youth at General Synod is for youth participants between the ages of 13 and 18 years old. We do not base participation on grade level at this time. Adult group leaders and chaperones must be at least 21 years of age and older. The group chaperones and leaders must not be less than three years older than the oldest youth participant.

Special Needs
Y@GS Information, Mobility & Special Needs, contact 216-736-3871 or youth@ucc.org.

Youth at General Synod 29 Artists|Speakers

Blue Like Jazz
Based on the NEW YORK TIMES best seller that swept the nation, BLUE LIKE JAZZ is a groundbreaking film about finding yourself. Don (Marshall Allman), a pious nineteen-year-old sophomore at a Texas junior college, impulsively decides to escape his religious upbringing for life in the Pacific Northwest at Reed College in Portland, one of the most progressive campuses in America. Reed's surroundings and eccentric student body prove to be far different from the environment from which he came, forcing him to embark on a journey of self- discovery to understand who he is and what he truly believes. Visit www.bluelikejazzthemovie.com  to download group leader guides and resources. Blue Like Jazz screening is scheduled for the Y@GS After Hours, Monday, July 01, 9:30 PM –11:30 PM.

Lillian Daniel
Lillian Daniel has served as the senior minister of the First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn in Chicago since 2004. A regular contributor to the Huffington Post, she is an editor at large for Christian Century magazine, a contributing editor at Leadership Journal, and the host of the Chicago-based television show 30 Good Minutes. Her most recent book, When "Spiritual But Not Religious" Is Not Enough was published by Jericho Books in January.

Daniel will help Youth@GS launch its first YouthRead at General Synod 29 in Long Beach. Order When "Spiritual But Not Religious" Is Not Enough here.

YouthRead is scheduled for Sunday, June 30, 11 AM to 12 Noon (Convention Hall C) with a book signing to follow, 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM (Convention Hall B).



Frenchie Davis
Songbird Frenchie Davis was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Los Angeles, CA where she started her musical journey performing in plays throughout her school years, eventually deciding to audition for the second season of the groundbreaking FOX show American Idol. Her success on the show launched the Howard University alum's rise to fame rather quickly and she has been progressing ever since. Frenchie moved on to join the Broadway cast of the hit show Rent and played the role of Effie White in Dream Girls, leading to four wonderful years on Broadway, eventually becoming a Grammy nominated artist for her involvement in the revival of Ain't Misbehavin.

Ms. Davis is the featured keynote and performing artist for the Council for Youth and Young Adult Ministries (CYYAM) Luncheon, Monday, July 01, 12 Noon to 2 PM. Sign up for the CYYAM sponsored meal when registering for General Synod. Location details provided during sign up for the sponsored meal.

Dig Deep
Dig Deep is not a water charity. Every human being has a right to clean water. Water poverty isn't a problem. It's an injustice. Dig Deep believes all people – whatever their condition or location – have a right to the clean water they need to live in dignity.

The Los Angeles based organization will have a presence at General Synod, June 26 through July 02. Make sure to stop by the Youth/Young Adult 24-Hour Space to interact with Dig Deep and learn more about how you can join the movement. Dig Deep will host an interactive discussion with Youth @ General Synod participants Friday, June 28, 2 PM – 4 PM, Convention Hall C.

Lori Grace
Pastor Lori Grace has over 35 years of professional musical experience as a music educator, performer, recording musician, author and composer/arranger. Grace's innovative abilities allowed her to bring her love for music and the classroom together. Grace created a music based teaching method called TEMPO Learning System, using content standards in Mathematics, Language Arts, Writing, and Pre-K/Kindergarten. Grace serves as Minister of Music with Refiner's Fire Fellowship United Church of Christ in Long Beach and Upper Room Fellowship Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Grace loves to travel, cheer for the Los Angeles Lakers (we won't hold that against her) and spending quality time with family, friends and her two dogs.

The Youth Sing Out (YSO) choir will perform Sunday, June 30, 3 PM, Synod Worship (Convention Hall A) and 7:30 PM, Peace Concert and Forum (Convention Hall C).

Outdoor Ministries Association (OMA)
Located on the shores, in the mountains, overlooking grand mountain ranges, in the forest or on the plains, UCC Camps and Retreat Centers serve local congregations, non-profit groups, families, individuals and other business groups year 'round. Camp programs, a compliment and extension of the Christian Education mission of the local and wider church, embrace diversity and understanding. From the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in New Hampshire to the majestic mountains of California - and at more than 60 sites in between - thousands of guests of all ages and backgrounds discover and deepen their faith though encounters with God in creation and Christian community.

OMA is an official partner of Youth at General Synod. OMA will host Y@GS After Hours, "Sports, Songs, Spirit and S'Mores," Friday, June 28, 9:30 PM – 11:30 PM.

Youth Sing Out at General Synod
YSO (Youth Sing Out) is to General Synod what the All Strings Jam Session was to National Youth Event 2012. All Strings was off the chart and our youth totally rocked the stage! So we are doing it again, but this time with the combined voices of a youth and young adult choir.

Get Excited!
Are you ready to take the stage at General Synod 29 to make a joyful noise unto the Lord? YSO at Synod is where its at. Come and share in one voice and one sound as members of YSO.

Why YSO?
YSO gives youth and young adults a chance to share in worship during General Synod to glorify God! YSO will be center stage lifting up the gifts of our young people during a major GS worship/plenary! YSO serves as a platform for youth/young adults to use their gifts in music to raise consciousness around the violence claiming lives of young people across our country and world.

Who Can Join YSO?
YSO is open to registered youth (13-17) and young adults (18-30) of General Synod 29 in Long Beach. Participants must attend rehearsals and sound check/staging. Do you know of youth and young adults with a passion for singing and worshipping?

When Will YSO Perform?
YSO will minister during Sunday's GS Worship and Sunday evening in a Youth & Young Adult sponsored Peace Concert & Forum.

Sunday, June 30, 3 PM, General Synod Worship, Convention Hall A
Sunday, June 30, 7:30 PM, YSO for Peace Concert, Convention Hall C

What Will We sing?
We Are All One See page 121 of UCC's Sing! Prayer and Praise Hymnal
Ain't No Stopping Us Now by McFadden & Whitehead (Long Version)
Heal the World by Michael Jackson
Wake Up Everybody John Legend's Cover Version
Lord I Lift Your Name On High by Rick Founds (with upbeat tempo)

Online Tutorials
We Are All One UCC's Sing! Prayer and Praise Hymnal, Page 121

Ain't No Stopping Us Now by McFadden & Whitehead

Heal The World by Michael Jackson

Wake Up Everybody John Legend's Cover Version

Lord I Lift Your Name On High In his Presence Gospel Choir's Cover Version (Upbeat Tempo)

Lord I Lift Your Name On High Jonathan Butler's Cover Version (Traditional)

Lyrics & Scores
YSO will not use sheet music for its live performances. So visit the on-line tutorials to learn the music prior to General Synod. We are providing sheet music as a point of reference for lyrics. Bring your music with you to rehearsal, but be prepared to sing without it. We are counting on our YSO members to prepare for the performances scheduled for Sunday, June 30 by rehearsing and learning the music prior to Synod. The music director will be on-hand to offer guidance and support. There may be a fee assessed with downloading of scores. Obtain permission from parents/guardians before downloading music scores if you are under 18.

We Are All One - See page 121 of UCC's Sing! Prayer and Praise Hymnal
Ain't No Stopping Us Now - Sheet Music Not Provided
Heal the World
Wake Up Everybody
Lord I Lift Your Name On High

On-Site Rehearsals
Friday, June 28
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Convention Hall C (Youth & Young Adult 24-Hour Space)

Saturday, June 29
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Convention Hall C (Youth & Young Adult 24-Hour Space)

Mandatory Sound Check & Staging
Sunday, June 30
TBA
Convention Hall A (Plenary & Worship Space)

General Synod Worship
3:00 PM
Convention Hall A (Plenary & Worship Space)

Peace Concert & Forum
7:30 PM
Convention Hall C (Youth & Young Adult 24-Hr Space)

YSO Director
Pastor Lori Grace holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts. She is currently working on her Masters in Education specializing in Curriculum/Instruction.  Grace has over 35 years of professional musical experience as a music educator, performer, recording musician, author and composer/arranger. She began her teaching career with Long Beach Unified School District at Jordan High School in the choral music department as an instructor while also overseeing numerous successful productions, including The Wiz, Once On This Island and more over her seven years with the school.

Grace's innovative abilities allowed her to bring her love for music and the classroom together. Grace created a music based teaching method called TEMPO Learning System, using content standards in Mathematics, Language Arts, Writing, and Pre-K/Kindergarten.  Grace remains dedicated to working with young students teaching the essentials of musicianship, vocal training and having a global ear. Some of her students traveled and performed with her in Europe.

Just as Grace wants her students to be international musicians, she also encourages them to be diverse in mastering instruments. Grace herself has over 40-years of experience playing the piano with gifts also on the bass and drums. Her students have taken her training and have gone on to perform with great music legends, including Pattie LaBelle, George Duke and Natalie Cole.

Grace serves as Minister of Music with Refiner's Fire Fellowship United Church of Christ in Long Beach and Upper Room Fellowship Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Grace loves to travel, cheer for the Los Angeles Lakers (we won't hold that against her) and spending quality time with family, friends and her two dogs.

Confirm Your Spot on the YSO
Send a quick email to youth@ucc.org giving us a heads up you will join YSO. We will also send updates leading up to Synod to prepare you for rehearsals and performances.

Questions
Email youth@ucc.org.

YouthRead Y|R
Sometimes being spiritual, but not religious is not enough. Sometimes you want something more, but what? And sometimes you want to explore that question without feeling like your Advanced Placement class is in session. Or maybe you are just curious about God's calling for your life. Hold up, we are not sending you off to preacher's school just yet. God's calling is not a one way ticket to the pulpit. Maybe God is calling you in a different direction to serve and make a difference. That's what YouthRead is all about - searching, questioning, exploring and also laughing, sharing, and being in community with other young people with similar question marks in their lives. Help us launch the first ever YouthRead at General Synod, open to youth, young adults, book and Nook® worms of all ages.

Y|R Book
When "Spiritual But Not Religious" Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church by UCC Pastor and author, Lillian Daniel.

Y|R at Synod
Sunday, June 30, 11 AM to 12 PM - Convention Hall C (Youth 24-Hour Space)

Y|R Book Signing
Sunday, June 30, 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM - Convention Hall B (UCC Resource Store, Exhibit Hall)

Order Your Y|R Copy
Order When "Spiritual But Not Religious" Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church here

Youth Groups
Youth groups are encouraged to read the book together and come prepared to engage a humorous, lively and spirit-filled dialogue that will also be interactive. Amazon has rated Daniel's book as the #1 funniest religious book. Daniel's book speaks to multi-generational and culturally diverse audiences, challenging readers to unthink the critique of the church and rediscover it as a place to encounter God. When so many are running away from the church, the author suggests, it is the place most want to rediscover - especially youth. Invite your friends to read along & join us. Get ready for the best "book club" ever!

Who In the World is Lillian Daniel?
Daniel, a member of the UCC Writer's Group will not disappoint. She is senior pastor of First Congregational UCC of Glen Ellyn, IL and she moonlights as a comedian on non-Sundays.

What People Are Saying
"Here is why I love Lillian Daniel's writing: it is honest; it is funny; and it teaches me about Mary and Martha via a yoga class. Also, Lillian Daniel describes the church I know and am known by - she describes a church that is ordinary and extraordinary, full of people who are broken, gifted, blessed, strange, and wonderful. The church she describes is the place that has sustained my spiritual life when my own interior sense of God's presence has faltered; and it is the place that, as often as not, is where I am sitting when my sense of God's presence reignites."
- Lauren F. Winner, author of Girl Meets God and Still: Notes on a Mid-faith Crisis

"You read some things because you have to or need to or ought to. You'll read Lillian Daniel for the pure pleasure of pitch-perfect writing - she has the rare talent of a ‘natural.' Along the way, you'll discover enrichment and insight that you needed and wanted…Lillian cooks up a delicious and nourishing feast for readers. Don't miss it!"
- Brian McLaren, author of Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?

Safe Church Conduct
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.

UCC Safe Conduct Workbench
State Laws and Regulations for Camps
Good Samaritan Laws

Covenants and Agreements
All participants of Youth @ 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 Youth programs demonstrates consent to honor these covenants, policies and agreements. Violation of these covenants, policies and agreements may result in dismissal from the event without refund and at your own expense. Adult leaders and chaperones take responsibility for insuring all members of their group and their guardians/parents are familiar with the covenants, policies and agreements before a youth registers and participate in these outreach.

Adult leaders and chaperones are required to maintain a hard copy of these covenants, policies and agreements for each registered participant (inclusive of youth and adults). A second copy must be provided at check-in for all participating group members.

A copy of all covenants, policies, waivers & agreements found at www.ucc.org/youth:
(Youth Covenant, Adult Covenant, Self-Disclosure, Safe Conduct & Media Release)

Youth at General Synod Registration and Consent, Emergency Authorization, Waiver and Indemnification form

Health and Wellness
Medical Release Form

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. Contact Ministry 216-736-3871 or youth@ucc.org.

Registration & Housing
Registration opens Monday, January 21 at www.ucc.org/synod. Friend us on Facebook (United Church of Christ Youth) or Follow us on Twitter (TheUCCYouth) for the latest Youth at General Synod updates. Visit Ministry for Youth for all of your Youth@GS news and events!

Registration
Youth @ General Synod registration fee includes pre-synod programing costs for June 26-28.
$180.00 Youth @ General Synod - Youth
$255.00 Youth @ General Synod - Adult Youth Group Leader
$255.00 Youth @ General Synod - Adult Chaperone

What's Included in My Registration?
Registration covers pre-synod (June 26-28) PROGRAM ONLY and does not include housing or meals. It does include the cost of General Synod registration from June 28 through July 02.

Housing
Housing is an add-on option not included in your registration rate for Y@GS program. Once you/your group register for Y@GS, registrants will be directed to reservations for exclusive optional housing options. A special discounted double occupancy rate of $79 per person/double occupancy (plus tax) has been reserved for a limited time solely for registered Youth at General Synod groups.

The guaranteed discounted rate for Youth @ General Synod participants will expire, Monday, April 22. This special rate is unmatched and negotiated exclusively for our Youth at General Synod participants.

YOU ASKED FOR IT. Based on youth group feedback, the recommended Y@GS housing is less than three blocks from the convention center and offers a great bargain deal; lower than any other housing option at Synod.

Y@GS housing is accessible and conveniently located near choice restaurants, theater, boardwalk & more! Secure your discounted Y@GS housing by registering by Monday, April 22.

Information
Y@GS Information, Mobility & Special Needs Requests, contact 216-736-3871 or youth@ucc.org.

Registration for Youth at General Synod includes programming cost only. Housing and meals are additional costs and the responsibility of the youth groups.

Service, Justice & Faith
In keeping with Y@GS tradition of hosting a service, justice and faith outreach, the Council for Youth and Young Adult Ministries in partnership with UCC's Centro Romero of San Ysidro, CA will host a Border Immersion Encounter, Saturday, June 29, 7 AM – 6 PM. This is a full day outreach inclusive of travel time, orientation and debrief. Lunch is included. Pre-registration is required along with a current & valid passport. All are welcome. Youth must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. Add on CYYAM Border Immersion during registration. Additional fee.

Additional Fee & Cost Breakdown
The $120.00 additional fee is optional and not included in the registration or program costs for General Synod. It includes Centro Romero border program, lunch & roundtrip transportation from Convention Center to San Ysidro.

Youth at General Synod Registration and Consent, Emergency Authorization, Waiver and Indemnification form

Meals, ground transportation and recreational activities in Long Beach
Youth at General Synod registration includes the $30 program fee and General Synod registration only. Meals and ground transportation are additional costs and the responsibility of the youth groups.

Here are some quick links to help your group plan for meals, ground transportation and recreational activities in Long Beach.
Welcome to Long Beach
Where To Eat In Long Beach
Arts and Culture in long Beach
Sports and Recreation in Long Beach
Ground Transportation in Long Beach
Airport Shuttles
· Super Shuttle (Use UCC Discount Code B6HCJ for 10% Discount)
· Karmel Shuttle

Other Meals (Optional Add On)
The Council for Youth and Young Adult Ministries (CYYAM) will host a sponsored meal, Monday, July 1, 12 noon – 2 PM, headlining a special American Idol/The Voice star, $30 per person. Check back for the formal unveiling of our CYYAM Luncheon keynote. To sign up for the CYYAM sponsored meal, add this option while registering for Youth at General Synod. This sponsored meal is open to all. Limited seating. Register early.

Youth groups participating in the CYYAM/Centro Romero Border Immersion experience will have lunch and dinner included. To register for the CYYAM/Centro Romero Border Immersion activity, add this option during registration. This experience is open to all persons with a valid and current Passport. Persons under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The CYYAM/Centro Romero Border Immersion is offered Saturday, June 29, 7 AM – 6 PM. Participants will cross the US/Mexico border.

Check back often for updates as new meal options may be added.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What else is happening for youth and young adults at GS29?
There will be a host of on-going activities taking place in the Youth at General Synod 24-Hour Space. Drop by Convention Space C during the Convention Center Hours and experience:

Faith, Fit and Fun—A space dedicated to physical fitness activities including Basketball, Volleyball, Dance and more!
Resources for Adult Group Leaders—A space dedicated to providing tools and resources youth group leaders can use. It's also a great break spot and networking area.
TIE: Theological, Interactive & Educational—These are on-going interactive educational resources for our youth hosted by Outdoor Ministries Association, Our Church's Wider Mission, Volunteer Ministries, Congregational Vitality and Discipleship and More!
CYYAM Lounge—Space just for youth and young adults to kick it, relax, connect or unplug! This is your space so drop by often and bring a friend!

Is there a CYYAM (Council for Youth and Young Adults) Election?
Yes. CYYAM hosts elections every biennium which occurs each General Synod. Ballots can be cast at the CYYAM exhibit booth during General Synod.

Where is the youth space located?
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.

What's the difference between Y@GS and After Hours?
The Youth at General Synod pre-synod activities begin Wednesday evening and goes through Friday afternoon. Youth at General Synod after-hours and at-large activities begin Friday evening through Tuesday's closing worship and plenary.

Are we allowed to explore sites away from convention center?
The Youth at General Synod Agenda is designed with our youth in mind. We want you to enjoy every component offered. This also includes 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. Visit the Long Beach Hospitality page to learn more about places to visit.

Are there required disclaimer/release forms for national setting sponsored trips/immersion experiences?
A SIGNED COPY OF disclaimer/waiver forms MUST BE SUBMITTED BEFORE PARTICIPATING IN GS29, including National Setting sponsored events:

1. Centro Romero – A migration and immigration ministry experience which includes bus travel to Tijuana, Mexico.

2. Chapman University – A university tour which includes bus transportation from Long Beach to Orange, CA and return.

Please arrive to location(s) 45 minutes to 1 hour prior to departure time to find parking and boarding zone and submit paperwork.

Completed and signed copies will be collected on-site before boarding of buses.

------------------

All activities unless otherwise noted will be hosted in Convention Center Space C in the Long Beach Convention Center. Information on room changes will be posted.

**The Youth at General Synod pre-synod activities begin Wednesday evening and goes through Friday afternoon. Youth at General Synod after-hours and at-large activities begin Friday evening through Tuesday's closing worship and plenary.



Contact Information
Ms. Waltrina Middleton | Minister for Youth Advocacy and Leadership Formation | 700 Prospect Ave. | Cleveland,Ohio 44115 | 216-736-3871 | middletonw@ucc.org