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Get the Most From General Synod 29: Start Your Bucket List Now!

Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, as a couple of terminally ill duffers out to LIVE! before they die, made “bucket list” a household phrase in 2007.  From skydiving to riding motorcycles along the Great Wall of China and flying over the North Pole, they “did it all,” crossing item after item off their lists with a panache that eventually spilled over into friendship, connection with faith and family and the fulfillment of dreams in unexpected ways.

     Good plot…great plan for Synod goers!  

     Okay, you’ve decided to give General Synod 29 a try:  it is, after all, in Long Beach, hosted by your own Conference.  Now would be a good time to think bucket list.  What might you hope to see and do between June 28 and July 2, 2013?” 

     How about the 2013 equivalents of “dancing with Bishop Tutu” and “flash mob communion,” memorable moments recalled by past participants in articles for Connecting Voices magazine (http://www.scncucc.org/voices/)?

     Or, as others have celebrated:

• “an experience of God’s peace”
• “a family reunion – immersion into our identity as people of the UCC”
• “the palpable power of those who follow Jesus”
• “the energy of faith-rich community”
• “worship as an invitation to simply be”
• “a deep sense of belonging…these people ‘get me!’”
• “Knowing the fire and passion of Synod will live on in and through me”
• “Magic!”

     The list is long, the possibilities exciting.  Synod, as one person put it, is “one large goose bump of an experience.” 

     What will Synod 29 bring?  Rev. Dr. Ben Guess, Executive Minister, UCC Local Church Ministries and one of UCC’s Collegium of Officers,  put it this way:  “an opportunity to articulate who we are as a community of faith, to share our vision, values and voice.”  To which Conference Minister Rev. Felix Villanueva added the SCNC-specific goal that the Long Beach gathering “be a showcase for the Conference’s uniqueness and diversity and an opportunity to lead the UCC into what the church can become.”

     Great items for our – and your – bucket list!

     See you in Long Beach!


Janet Vandevender
Co-Chair, Synod 29 Local Arrangements Committee

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