United Church of Christ

Justice & Witness at General Synod 30

Join Justice and Witness Ministries in worship, learning, and action at General Synod 30! Every two years, General Synod brings together thousands of faithful members of the United Church of Christ. This year we will gather June 25-30 in Cleveland, OH. Together, we will discern resolutions of witness, church structure, and function. We will stand up for issues that demand a faithful witness. And we will join together in worship each day to lift up the Stillspeaking God.

If you will be in Cleveland, we hope you will join us at our sponsored events and stop by our Justice & Witness Ministries booth in the exhibit hall to say hello. We can’t wait to see you!

Justice & Witness at #GS2015:

‘It Is Well’ Healing and Affirming Service
Thursday, June 25 at 7:30 pm
Amistad Chapel
A spirit-filled worship including the Sacrament of Communion at the Lord’s Table and a service of healing and prayer. All are invited. Learn more about "It Is Well."

Prayer Service in Honor of Tamir Rice
Friday, June 26 at 11:00 am
Global Center for Health Innovation (attached onto the Cleveland Convention Center) - Junior Ballroom
1 Saint Claire Avenue NE
Cleveland, OH 44114
Justice and Witness Ministries and the Western Reserve/Eastern Ohio Associations will be holding a prayer service in honor and memory of Tamir Rice, who was shot and killed by a Cleveland Police Officer on November 22, 2014 and outside a local youth recreation center.  Tamir died the following day.  All are welcome to join us in this service of lamentation.  Street maps will be available for those who wish to walk to City Hall or the Justice Center as a nonviolent public witness.   

Reading Changes Lives
Reading Changes Lives
Global Center for Health Innovation (attached to the Cleveland Convention Center)
Junior Ballroom, 1 Saint Claire Avenue NE, Cleveland, OH 44114

  • Stuff the Pack Event (National Service Project for General Synod Registrants)
    All Synod registrants are invited to participate in the assembly of 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies, for elementary age students. The packs will be donated to our partner, University Settlement, a nonprofit social service agency that has been serving city of Cleveland since 1926. Participants are encouraged to bring a school supply for inclusion in additional backpacks for University Settlement's Back to School Resource Fair.
    • Sunday, June 28, 2015; 9:00 am – 11:00 am
    • Friday, June 26, 2015; 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
    • Saturday, June 27, 2015; 1:30 pm -- 3:30 pm
  • If You’re Reading This, You Can Help Someone Who Can’t
    Workshop led by Rob Shindler, adult literacy tutor and author of Hot Dogs and Hamburgers: Unlocking Life’s Potential by Inspiring Literacy.
    • Saturday, June 27; 1:30 – 3:30 pm
  • Tutor the Tutor Event
    Spend an afternoon learning how to change lives by becoming a literacy tutor. Rob Shindler, author of Hot Dogs & Hamburgers: Unlocking Life's Potential by Inspiring Literacy at Any Age and special guest, Kurt Karakul, Executive Director of Third Federal Foundation, will share their passion for raising literacy rates. Northeast Ohio programs will be on hand to distribute information and sign up interested individuals.
    • Sunday, June 28, 2015; 12:30 pm; 2:00 pm

Valerie Russell Lecture
Saturday, June 27
1:30 – 2:30 PM
Co-sponsored by the UCC Council for Health and Human Services Ministries (CHHSM)
This Lecture is in honor of the leadership and legacy of Valerie Russell whose work with the marginalized and oppressed through the UCC and the City Mission Society of Boston. Valerie Russell served as the Executive Director of the UCC Office for Church and Society. Featured Lecturer is Ms. Darlene Sowell, President and CEO of Neighborhood Houses of St. Louis and organization that offers promising options for children and their families. The recipient of the Valerie Russell Scholarship will also be announced.

Health and Wholeness Luncheon - “Weave Us Together for Health and Wholeness”
Monday, June 29
12:15-2:00 PM
The Health and Wholeness Ministries luncheon will lift up and celebrate the Health and Wholeness Ministries of the United Church of Christ and the importance of engaging in community health ministries through partnerships and collaborations.  Keynote:  Karen K. Butler, Chief Operating Officer, Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services, Inc. (NEON). Sponsors: Health and Wholeness Advocacy Office (JWM/WCM), Council for Health and Human Service Ministries (CHHSM), UCC HIV and AIDS Network (UCAN), UCC Faith Community Nurse Network, UCC Mental Health Network. GET TICKETS!

\Public Witness at the Offices of the Cleveland Baseball Team
Tuesday, June 30 at 12:15
Meet at Lakeside Entrance to walk over to Cleveland Baseball Park - Download walking directions
Justice and Witness Ministries, the UCC Council for American Indian Ministries, and the Cleveland Committee of 500 Years will be delivering signed petitions calling upon the Cleveland Baseball Team to change both its team mascot, Chief Wahoo and the team name. We will walk to the baseball offices from the Convention Center (about a 15 minute walk). Add your name to the petition now!

Workshops led by JWM Staff
Saturday, June 27
3:00 – 4:00 PM        

  • Faithful Action in a World of Economic Injustice: Why We Need to Get Involved and What We Can Do.
    Led by Edie Rasell, Minister for Economic Justice
  • God Gave Me Sexuality: Healthy, Holy Sexuality Education
    Led by Amy Johnson, Our Whole Lives Coordinator and Lynn Young, Our Whole Lives Trainers
  • UCC Congregations as Centers for Christian Just Peacemaking
    Led by Rev. Michael Neuroth, Policy Advocate for International Issues joined by members of the UCC Just Peace Table

Be the Church Mini-Workshops will be also led by JWM staff persons at the JWM Exhibit throughout General Synod.

Anniversary Celebrations

  • Celebrating the 35th Anniversary of UCC Disabilities Ministries
    General Synod Second Plenary
    Friday, June 26 at 7:30 pm
  • Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Open and Affirming Resolution and Movement
    General Synod Third Plenary
    Saturday, June 27 at 8:30 am
  • Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Just Peace Movement
    General Synod Fifth Plenary
    Monday, June 29 at 2:30 pm

Participate wherever you are!
Can’t make it to Synod? There are many ways to engage from home. You can join us in action by signing our petition to be delivered to the Cleveland baseball team or by giving to the Reading Changes Lives initiative. We welcome your prayers as our delegates work to discern and vision the future for our denomination. And we invite you to follow along on social media via #GS2015.









June 25, 2015 at 7:30pm - July 02, 2015
Rev. Bentley de Bardelaben ·