Sunday, February 04, 2007

UCC Synod

Click on Let It Shine above to open a new window to the UCC Synod site.

Confirmed Guests as of today:
Bill Moyers, Voice of the Pacific, Marian Wright Edelman, Ricardo Esquievia, Rabbi Naameh Kelman, Ingrid Mattson, Rachel Barton Pine, Still Paint Theatre Collective, Chung Hyun Kyung, Davey D, He Qi, Kim and Reggie Harris, Valerie Jutson, Leonard Pitts Jr, John Hockenberry, Maria Otero, Ray Kurzwell, Susan Brooks Thistlewhite, Kevin Phillips, Marilyn Robinson, Walter Brueggemann, Phil Porter, The Children's Orchestra Society, Harry Knox


See You In Hartford!
click on the headline to open a new window to the UCC synod info page

Welcome and we are delighted that you may be joining us in Hartford for The Twenty-sixth General Synod which will be part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the United Church of Christ. Our members in the Connecticut Conference are working hard to make our 50th anniversary Synod one we will all long remember. Given this anniversary Synod, those who have attended Synods before will find some changes as part of our time together will be devoted to celebration activities as we both look forward to who we are as the United Church of Christ and explore who God is calling us to be and to become in the next 50 years. So come prepared to worship, to study, to fellowship, to celebrate and to Let It Shine!!

When and Where Is General Synod?
General Synod will officially convene on Friday afternoon, June 22nd and will adjourn on Tuesday evening, June 26th following the closing worship. Synod is in downtown Hartford, Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center. It's an arena designed primarily for sporting for events, but it will be our home for five days and we'll have the usual exhibits, worship, music and workshops. The good news is that the Civic Center seats over 14,000 people , so we have plenty of room to make this the biggest Synod ever.

What about Registration?
Registration will open for visitors on December 1st. and everyone must register. The Civic Center staff will be on hand each day to check registrations and they will only allow those who are registered in the facility. We have convinced them that Sunday worship must be open to any and all who wish to attend and they have agreed to allow this for our community wide worship on Sunday afternoon only. Other than Sunday afternoon, registration is required for all. There are a variety of registration options depending on how long you plan to be at Synod; they are listed below:

  • General Synod registrants delegates, associate delegates, and visitors attending all five days: $150
  • Seminarians and Youth attending all 5 days, $100
  • Those attending only Friday, Saturday, Sunday, $100
  • Those attending Saturday only, $50
  • No registration required for children under 12 (note: child care is available, there is a cost for child care, see other needs form, pre registration is required for child care)

You will register online by visiting ucc.org, clicking on General Synod registration and following the instructions. If you are a voting delegate or associate conference delegate, your conference will have registered you, so if you have questions, give them a call. DO NOT re-register.

If you are planning on coming just for Saturday, note that there's a registration amount for you too!! We suggest that everyone register in advance, but if you don't decide until the last minute to come, there will be onsite registration in the Civic Center, so don't let that stop you from coming to the party!

Where Do I Stay?
There are a number of housing options and a wide range of costs, including University Housing which we are holding exclusively for youth until March 15th. If the beds are not filled by youth by March 15th, we will open it to others. After you register, you will be able to go into the link for the UCC Housing Bureau where you will see all of the hotels designated as General Synod hotels. We have negotiated special rates for these hotels and the General Synod shuttle will service these hotels. A description of all of the hotels as well as the room rates is included in this document. Please DO NOT call the hotels directly, if you do you may not receive the negotiated rate and your stay will not be included in our room block. Please help us manage our budget by using the hotels contracted for Synod. If you choose to go outside the Synod block (good luck as we have about every hotel in Hartford) but if you find one that is not on our list, you will be on your own for transportation to and from the Civic Center. We have significantly increased our room block, so there should be enough hotel space for all. We will monitor this carefully and if it looks like our rooms are filling up, we'll contract for more, so don't panic?but also please don't wait until April or May to register and select housing. Again, registration and housing opens December 1st. You won't be able to get housing without first registering. Voting Delegates: your conference will have already made housing arrangements for you, so please do not make additional housing arrangements. If you have questions about this, call your conference office.

What's the Schedule
The schedule isn't complete, but here's a thumbnail sketch:

Friday afternoon, opening hearings and organization of Synod
Friday evening, opening worship
Saturday, Synod in the City (see description below)
Sunday morning, (planning still in progress)
Sunday afternoon Community Worship
Sunday evening, Delegates in Committees, visitors welcome
Monday Morning, Delegates in Committees, Visitors welcome
Monday afternoon, plenary, keynote and business
Monday evening, plenary and worship
Tuesday morning and afternoon, plenary and business
Tuesday evening, Closing worship

Synod in the City
This is after all, not just any Synod ,it's our 50th Anniversary Synod, so we're going to dispense a bit with business as usual and a good deal of Friday, Saturday and Sunday has been set aside for the celebration of our past and a conversation about our future. The opening worship on Friday evening will kick off the celebration. On Saturday, delegates and visitors will all have a chance to be a part of Synod in the City. It's a day long festival of worship, Bible Study, workshops, lectures, concerts, etc. There will be a number of simultaneous events, so you won't be able to see or hear everything, you'll have to make choices, but we expect to have something for everyone. We'll begin Saturday morning with worship in the Civic Center and a keynote address, then we will fan out in the downtown area for a host of other events; you choose what you want to go to, space will be available on a first come, first serve basis, but there will always be something happening in the Civic Center and there's plenty of room there!! We'll end the day back together in the Civic Center for a grand celebration.

What about..FOOD!!
As exciting as we think the program will be; you still gotta eat!! There will be a lot of people to feed, so we have alerted the hotels and restaurants to be prepared. There will also be vendors in the downtown area during Synod in the City and we have asked the Hilton Hotel (the headquarters hotel) to be prepared to sell boxed lunches for Saturday. There will be the usual sponsored meals on Friday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday; these are meals sponsored by a Covenanted Ministry or other group. The list of sponsored meals will be posted at registration and you can purchase tickets for these in advance. Remember, tickets for sponsored meals must be purchased in advance and they are non refundable. There are only tickets available on site if the sponsor has purchased additional ones to sell at their booth; tickets for sponsored meals will not be sold at on site registration.

Youth Program
50 4 50 1000 Strong!! We hope you are planning on bringing a group of youth to Synod!! Check the General Synod website for the 50 4 50, each conference is encouraged to bring at least 50 youth to Synod in celebration of the 50th Anniversary. DaVita Carter McAlister in Local Church Ministries and Ken Brown in Justice and Witness Ministries are working on a program that will be geared for youth, but will overlap with the General Synod program as well. Check the website and click on 50 for 50 for more details.

New and Updated Information
We'll post information as we have it available, but we suggest that you check the website after the 15th of each month for updated information, including more details on preparing for Synod, where to pick up registration materials when you arrive in Hartford, detailed schedules for Synod in the City, business to be considered by Synod, information on keynotes, worship and ongoing program details.

If you have questions, you may call or email

Registration
Denise Shimell
shimelld@ucc.org
216-736-2133

Destiny Shellhammer
shellhad@ucc.org
216-736-2149

Housing
GSHousing@ucc.org

Sponsored Meals
Heather Iriye
iriyeh@ucc.org
216-736-2105

Exhibits
Valerie Smith
smithv@ucc.org
216-736-2104

Synod Business
Lee Foley
foleyl@ucc.org
216-736-2192

Youth Programs
DaVita Carter McAlister
mccalld@ucc.org
216-736-3871
Ken Brown
brownk@ucc.org
216-736-3727

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