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Put Yourself in the Picture: Synod 2013 Story II: Staging Magic

Put Yourself in the Picture:  Synod 2013

Story II

     Why do UCCers gather together every two years, traveling long distances to plunge headlong into the intensity and immensity of a General Synod?  Why should YOU attend?  What’s in it for YOU?  

     Gregg Brekke, Editor of the United Church News, summed his “why” up succinctly when writing of his very first Synod in 2009.  “We seek an experience of God’s peace – through worship, renewed connections, new relationships and an immersion into our identity as people of the UCC.”

     The editors of Connecting Voices recently asked a number of past attendees (delegates and visitors, clergy and laypeople alike) about their “whys” and their Synod experiences – what “coming together” meant to them.  Their responses will be presented in a series of mini-articles over the next few months.  We hope that, stirred to “go and do likewise,” YOU will join us at Synod 29 in Long Beach, CA.

Staging Magic:  Synod Story II

by Carol Rainey, United Church of Christ of La Mesa, CA 

     What surprised me most the first time I went to Synod (2007), and continues to delight me, is the staging of the event, beginning with the “set.”  I start to wonder – weeks in advance – how the theme of Synod will be portrayed in the set.  And, as I do, my excitement about attending and participating in Synod grows.  I usually arrive a day in advance, and enjoy poking my head in to observe the building of the set and note the embellishments as they are put in place.  Then, as Synod proceeds, I find it intriguing to note the sometimes subtle changes that are made from session to session, day to day, to dramatically showcase the theme as it unfolds and deepens, evoking in me an awakening, an emotional response I had not anticipated.  I continue to be in awe of the “magic” that happens.


Carol Rainey is a lifelong UCC’er, having grown up in and raised her 3 daughters in Nazarene Congregational United Church of Christ in Brooklyn, New York.  Since retiring and moving to San Diego in 1996, she has been a member of Christian Fellowship Congregational Church and The United Church of Christ of La Mesa.  Carol has sung in the choirs and served on various boards and committees at all 3 churches.  She attended her first Synod in 2007 as a guest and served as a delegate from the Southern California Nevada Conference at the 2009 and 2011 S

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