Next Synod, now a year away, will be in person; hybrid aspects being explored

The General Synod of the United Church of Christ will get back to business a year from now. And it will do so in person.

After an all-virtual experience in 2021, the UCC’s biennial national meeting will require all voting delegates to be in Indianapolis in 2023. That’s according to the Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, the associate general minister who serves as Synod administrator.

Delegates and visitors will meet June 30 through July 4 at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

The website of the 2023 General Synod, as it appeared upon its launch on June 30, 2022.

A basic website for the meeting is now in place. People will eventually be able to register for Synod and find agenda and other details there. One key document is already there: the Standing Rules, which guide Synod business and name important deadlines. There’s also a place there to sign up for Synod updates.

Hybrid conundrum

Being online largely worked well in 2021. Thompson said she and the production team are investigating ways to add virtual elements to enhance the 2023 experience cost effectively.

“The cost of production is already more expensive than it was in 2019 and 2021, and we don’t have the budget to add the virtual costs of 2021 to the in-person budget of 2019,” she said.

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be any hybrid aspects. Thompson said she and Synod planners are exploring possibilities. They hope to have answers by this summer.

“We have always livestreamed the plenaries and worship, but what have we learned from 2021?” she said. “Is there a level of hybridity beyond livestream? Can we add a chat function to the keynote, for example — to provide full participation for people not in the convention center? What can we add on, cost-effectively, to make it a more robust engagement for people not in the plenary hall?

“We are researching if and how we can accommodate that.”

Bookmark this General Synod website and check back for details on the agenda, resolutions, housing, preachers, speakers and more.


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Categories: United Church of Christ News

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