Synod exhibits, vendors will offer wide array of resources in Indianapolis
You can learn a lot about the United Church of Christ at General Synod 34 in Indianapolis, and not just in plenary.
The space is a big deal — it’s 43,000 square feet, and it filled up to capacity fast, said Valerie Smith, team leader of Hospitality Ministries and event services.
Wander the exhibit hall and you’ll find ministry ideas, items for sale and people to visit with.
There will be more than a dozen booths staffed by UCC national teams or affiliated ministries, and 40 more other vendors who signed on.
One of the biggest spaces will be occupied by the store, otherwise known as UCC Resources.
“We will have a lot of new stuff,” said Marie Tyson, the Common Services revenue strategist who manages UCC Resources. She quickly pointed to Pride items, a climate mug from the environmental justice team and a Love is Louder shirt line from Justice and Local Church Ministries.
“There will be hundreds of T-shirts,” Tyson continued, along with journals, travel mugs and smaller ‘souvenirs.’
And while the Indiana Convention Center is a cashless facility, exhibitors “can accept whatever form of payment that they wish,” Smith said.
In other areas of the convention center, the cashless designation for General Synod will be evident. Concession stands will only accept credit or debit cards for food and beverage purchases. Synod goers will see QR codes they can scan to donate to various ministries; during the three worship services, they can give to the offerings on the soon-to-be-released General Synod 34 app or choose a text-to-give option.
Visitors traveling with cash can exchange it for a debit card at the cash to card kiosk found in the vending area on the first level of the Indiana Convention Center.
COVID protocols are “an ongoing question,” said the Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, General Synod administrator and the UCC’s candidate for General Minister and President, noting that masking will be voluntary.
And while Thompson said further information will be available on the website very soon, local organizers have noted that that the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Stadium invested more than $7-million on health and safety improvements in 2021 and meets the highest standards for cleaning, disinfecting and infectious disease prevention.
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