This week-long program for chaperoned high school youth groups combinedGeneral Synod events with three days of service projects, evening programs, social opportunities and after hours activities. Our group ofover 220people worked an average of 4 hours per day for 3 days, contributing a combined total of over 2700 hours of service to agencies and organizations in Greater Grand Rapids. How grateful and proud we can be to have young people with gifts, compassion, generosity and energy in the United Church of Christ!
During the event, Eric C. Smith, (a young adult who served as Assistant Moderator of General Synod 25), provided an overview of General Synod and guided us through an actual resolution, which allowed youth to experience the discernment and voting process. We also had programs on faith, justice and service to help youth to think about their work here within the larger context of justice issues and identify opportunities for service and justice work within their own communities and congregations.
We give thanks to all of the youth who came to General synod,as well as the exhausted, amazing chaperones and group leaders who brought them!
What is General Synod? General Synod, which meets every two years, is a gathering of people delegated by our 38 Conferences to represent the UCC and to address important matters relating to the church. General Synod participants also include visitors from UCC churches; local, conference and national UCC staff; representatives from many diverse UCC institutions, agencies and ministries; and friends and colleagues from other faith traditions. The latest General Synod took place in June 2009, and the next one is scheduled for June 2011.
General Synod is a time for all who gather to worship together, build friendships, share and celebrate our varied ministries, and recognize our relationships in the ecumenical and world community. General Synod delegates meet to address important business matters, which includes approving a budget for the mission of the church at the national setting, electing the Collegium of Officers, and voting on Pronouncements, Resolutions and Proposals for Action (specific proposals for how our church can respond to significant issues facing our congregations, communities, nation and world).