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Put Yourself in the Picture: Synod 2013 (Story I)

Put Yourself in the Picture:  Synod 2013

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.

Family Reunion:  Synod Story I
by Pastor Scott Landis of Mission Hills UCC in San Diego, CA

     “General Synod for me is like a large family reunion.  I get to see so many colleagues and friends from around the nation and we all have the same surname – United Church of Christ.  The feeling that I have when I am there is a deep sense of belonging.  These people get me.  They affirm who I am and we have a common understanding of what it means to be a part of a thinking-feeling denominational family.  Hugs abound – and conversations are endless as we try and catch up on one another’s lives and ministries.

     “Perhaps my favorite aspect of Synod is worship.  Singing hymns of our faith and experiencing new forms of worship with 3,000 others is deeply moving.  From dance, to song, to breaking open the word, to prayer – worship is central to who we are as a community of Christ.  Synod takes that seriously and it is its basis.

     “It is exciting that the next General Synod will be in our Conference in 2013.  I hope the members of our churches will take the time to join the family reunion and imagine what’s possible as we open ourselves to God’s challenges and grace.”

Scott Landis is a life-long member of the United Church of Christ and has been a pastor for more than 30 years.  He has served on church boards locally, regionally and nationally throughout his career and has been a delegate to General Synod 4 times.   In addition to General Synod, Scott has made workshop presentations at regional and national youth events and been a representative of Ursinus College, a UCC-affiliated college, to national events.  He has served on search committees for many regional and national offices.  Scott currently serves at the pastor of Mission Hills United Church of Christ in San Diego and is the Moderator of the Southern Association.

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