Every two years, General Synod brings together thousands of faithful members of the United Church of Christ for formal church witness, inspirational worship, and fellowship with friends (new and old).
Learn more about what happened at General Synod 31 by reading the reflections below or visiting the General Synod Website to see photos, videos, and resolution information.
"Worshiping with 3,000 friends was certainly a highlight of my first Synod experience, but beyond the worship, there was so much richness you can only experience in person. Sitting in your resolution groups, looking deeply at an issue, and then discussions with individuals who feel strongly for or against a particular resolution. Walking into the exhibit area and experiencing the richness and diversity of our United Church of Christ. Reconnecting with old friends, strengthening relationships, and meeting new friends. I leave my first Synod experience with the word "United" on my mind. In diversity, discussions and even disagreement, we are still United in our ultimate mission, to show others a vision of what the Kin-dom of Christ can be, and work toward it becoming a reality."
-Rev. Robert Vodra, Delegate, Marlborough/Concord
"General Synod 31 has given me an opportunity to share my voice in the process of adjusting the course of our Church. It has been a chance to read and listen to a proposed Resolution (in my case it concerned the US embargo with Cuba) and then discern it with other members of the Church. During the process, we helped each other find common ground to modify the resolution so that it could be presented to the Synod delegates for a vote, (along with the other Resolutions) and then submitted for adoption by the Church. It was an empowering event that made me feel more engaged with helping the Church do God’s work than anything I have ever done."
- Gerri Cannon, Delegate, Somersworth
"Traveling, in my opinion, primarily focuses on experiencing others’ culture. Not only is the UCC of the US, North America, and all the Americas made up of a myriad of people from a myriad of cultures, but the gathering itself presents a culture of its own. In New Hampshire, some of us get exposure to different cultures and traditions through sister churches from across the world, such as the churches active in the Ukama Partnership with UCC of Zimbabwe. However, I think our New England congregations rarely spend enough time with strange and unusual cultures, so I challenge you to start an educational search to learn more and even raise up the minority cultures in your own communities!"
- Max Austin Gehring, Yound Adult Delegate, Wakefield
"At General Synod 31, the members of the New Hampshire delegation (both Delegates and visitors) received comprehensive and energizing exposure to the full breadth of the national setting of our church. It is an intentionally diverse, inspiringly-led, endlessly-energetic and Gospel-driven bunch. With all that we learned and all that we experienced, however, my highlight was the chemistry and cohesiveness of our own NH Conference crew. We lifted each other, laughed with each other, developed new friendships and strengthened existing ones. Several of us strode confidently to the microphones and offered reflections to the entire Synod that were articulate and meaningful. Many of us, well-prepared by Associate Conference Minister Richard Slater's careful planning, contributed significantly to our respective resolution groups, and were ready to share with each other to inform our Synod-wide votes. I'm proud to be part of the NH Conference, UCC"
-Rob Grabill, Delegate, Hanover