General Synod planners invite volunteers to share time and talents

Interested in getting involved in the UCC’s Special Edition General Synod? The planning team is now recruiting volunteers for a number of different assignments. Enrollment opens June 1 on the Synod website.

“Volunteers are essential to the Synod experience,” said the Rev. Elena Larssen, the UCC minister for volunteer engagement. “Historically, volunteers are coordinated by the Local Arrangements Committee within a Conference, providing local hospitality and the ‘Synod spirit of welcome.’”  But this year, since the event is virtual, she said “volunteers will come from the length and breadth of the church to support the integrity and warmth of our Synod experience.” 

The virtual volunteers will provide support in a number of areas. A few dozen will staff the Help Desk to assist users with negotiating meet.ucc, the GS platform. Others will provide parliamentary support, or serve as chaperones and as small group leaders with the Youth and Young Adult Program. The UCC’s news team and social media specialist are also supported by volunteers.

Additional opportunities will be posted on the General Synod website closer to virtual gathering July 11-18. All volunteers must be registered Synod participants. They will be able to sign up for time slots and tasks that work for them. The minimum time commitment is four hours, and most volunteer time commitments are two to six hours. There will be training available, and all adults signing up to work with minors must satisfy Safe Church expectations.

Anyone can be a volunteer, Larssen noted, “each, according to their ability” (Acts 11:29).

“They will be identified by a special ‘Rooted in Love: Volunteers at Synod’ background,” she said. “When you arrive in an online gathering, the volunteer will be noticeable on your screen by their background.” 

Two additional points – if you would like to volunteer and the registration cost is prohibitive, please email Larssen about a volunteer scholarship, which will be awarded on a case-by-case basis.

“General Synod has always utilized volunteers who are a special part of the event,” said General Synod Administrator, the Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson. “While volunteers will be invited to support Synod in a variety of new ways, we look forward to being able to have volunteers from across the settings of the UCC because geographic location is no longer a constraint. This is a unique opportunity to get involved.”

If one is interested in a summer-intern volunteer program, and can commit to a summer of service with Global HOPE ministries, there are advanced level placements available in the Volunteers at Synod program through the UCC’s annual Partners In Service programs. More information is available by contacting Larssen.  

Categories: United Church of Christ News

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