Young program planner urges Synod youth participation
The 2021 General Synod of the United Church of Christ, meeting July 11-18, has two tracks of programming, exclusively for youth and for young adults. Readers can review both agendas and register to participate on the Synod website. Avery Lapis is an 18-year-old UCC’er directly involved with creating the 2021 program.
From the eyes of a youth, General Synod is like the first day of high school. There are many new faces, you aren’t quite sure where to go and when you see someone you know, you quickly latch on to them.
However, after the first day, General Synod becomes more like the second semester of senior year in high school; time to get down to business and accomplish goals.
As a first-time delegate in 2019, I did not realize how important General Synod was until about the third plenary session. That is when I realized how truly astonishing and important the event is.
The concept of General Synod shows how the UCC cares about its people and what they want. I see this as one of the most important things about the gathering. It is a way for all of the people to voice their opinions and feelings. Out of all of these voices, although I may be slightly biased, youth voices are arguably the most important. General Synod gives us a platform to voice our thoughts, fears and ideas. That is why Synod is a wildly important part of the UCC.
When I was asked to help plan this year’s Synod youth program, I was extremely excited and jumped at the opportunity.
My initial excitement stemmed from the idea of making the youth program the best that it has ever been. I hope that youth learn more about themselves, the church and each other during the week of Synod.
I want youth to realize how important their voice is in the church. Don’t hesitate to speak your mind! Make your voice heard! Be the change you want to see in the church and in the world!
I am hoping that after General Synod, youth have a better understanding of what it means to be a part of the UCC and that the church is more than just a place of worship. It is a place for justice, a place for celebration and a place for change.
Avery Lapis is a member of First Congregational Church of South Hadley, Mass. She served as a delegate from the Massachusetts Conference — now part of the Southern New England Conference — at the 2019 General Synod in Milwaukee.
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