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GS 29: The Excitement Begins – A Letter from Rev. Felix Villanueva

July 12, 2012


Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

     General Synod is the United Church of Christ unleashed and out of the box…

     It is excitement, hoopla and all the diversity and energy one can imagine – and perhaps more…

     It is celebrities, surprises and tangible opportunities to begin to KNOW what it means to be UCC…

     It is also a time of discovery –

“How many forms of “UCC” can I see/feel here?”
“What (if any) are the extents or limits of UCC?”
“How/where does UCC change the world and people’s lives?”

     All this and more can be discovered during Synod…can make your experience there one to celebrate – and share!

     And, of course, there are the cookies, hundreds of dozens of them, mostly home baked.  It’s a never-ending supply of cookies – enough to blow one’s mind…

     And those are just for starters!

     It is also a chance to experience the mystery and power of “God’s Vision:   ”    Note the space after the colon.  It represents your, my, our chance to discern as God speaks to us.  The theme of Synod 29, “God’s Vision:   ”   is an open invitation to listen to our stillspeaking God and to share, up close and personal, the incredible community that is UCC – and to enrich it.

     Hosting General Synod 29, which the Southern California Nevada Conference will do June 28 – July 2, 2013 in Long Beach, is an opportunity to demonstrate, live out and experience “extravagant welcome,” a time for our conference to prove to ourselves and the UCC world that we do indeed extend that welcome to all.  It’s an opportunity all of us should “grab with both hands” and run with as we work together to make “our” Synod unique…southern California-Nevada unique!

     With that in mind, I’m turning to you, the people of the SCNC, for your ideas and your active participation – in planning for and taking part in General Synod 29.  What can we – your conference, your church and you – bring to the table that will make our Synod really stand out and, by putting our unique stamp on the program, reflect who we are?   Suggestions, thoughts and volunteers all welcome!  Please contact Rev. Paul Kittlaus, pkittlaus@gmail.com, or Janet Vandevender, janet.synod@gmail.com.  In future mailings we’ll share stories of the plans and timeline for General Synod 29 and of those wonderful UCCers working to make it happen.  Which brings me to another question:  What would you like to know more about?  To celebrate?  Our youth’s role, perhaps?  The music?  The worship?  Or?  Again, all ideas welcome.  Please send to Mary Domb Mikkelson, publicity@ucclm.sdcoxmail.com.

     We look forward to hearing from you, to sharing our Synod plans, to your support and help and to seeing you in Long Beach in 2013.

     The excitement begins!

In Christ,


Rev. Felix C. Villanueva
Conference Minister


One Response to “GS 29: The Excitement Begins – A Letter from Rev. Felix Villanueva”
  1. We want to see YOU(th) at General Synod 29 in Long Beach. There are some exciting youth programming in the works. We have an American Idol and The Voice star making an appearance. We have a border immersion planned with Centro Romero. A film screening, luncheon, and a few surprises along the way. If you love to worship, enjoy engaging justice issues, and want to be in community with your peers, sign up for Youth at General Synod: June 26 through July 02.

    Special discounted housing is available for $79 per person double occupancy. Register today via http://www.ucc.org/youth and click on Youth at General Synod.

    Join the Youth Read with Lillian Daniel. Order your book at http://www.ucc.org/youth and click on Get Lillian Daniel’s book.

    Want to sing? Join the Youth Sing Out to sing in Sunday’s Worship and perform in the YSO Peace Concert. Music will be posted on line to help you prepare in advance.

    See you in Long Beach!

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