General Synod 2021


Proposed UCC Bylaw Amendments

Helpful Links

About General Synod 33

Since 1957, when the first “uniting” General Synod gathered in 1957 in Cleveland, Ohio, to the meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 2019, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ has faithfully convened a meeting every two years in physical locations throughout the United States.

2021 will be different. We are moving through a pandemic that has taken many lives. This pandemic has disrupted our routines and many of our well-established practices as we adapt to the new demands for safety and social distancing. The meeting of the General Synod is no different, and the 2021 gathering of the General Synod will take place entirely online.

We have prayed and discerned this new way forward and look to God for guidance on doing a new thing, while grieving the inability to be together and the changes that surround us during this time of pandemic. While we would prefer to be together, we err on the side of caution, desiring to lower the risks for all and to ensure safety.

A virtual General Synod presents a significant opportunity for this body of Christ to join together in full participation at General Synod. This is an exciting opportunity for those who have always wanted to attend General Synod, or those curious about this gathering of members of the UCC. Thousands of people can join in full virtual participation. We look forward to welcoming you across the miles.

We will gather under the theme: Rooted in Love, July 11-18, 2021. You can expect the vibrancy of Spirit-led worship with prophetic preaching, music- and art-filled experiences that will anchor us. You can expect the same Spirit-filled energy in an engaging meeting of the General Synod that tends to the business and forward-momentum of the United Church of Christ. And, you can expect to learn more and connect with the UCC by attending workshops and other opportunities being prepared for you.

We are ready to journey together into our first-ever virtual General Synod where spirits will be uplifted, and connections to the Divine strengthened. Hearts and minds will be opened to the issues that inform the development of Resolutions, and knowledge and skills will be honed through workshops. Actions will be taken to make the world a better place. We are excited and hope you are too. We are ever thankful to a still-speaking God for our continued ministry with you and ever grateful to you for our shared discipleship to the risen Christ.


Penny Lowes

Bob Sandman
Assistant Moderator

Karen Georgia A. Thompson
General Synod Administrator

Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister & President


Register today and join us for General Synod 33 – a fully virtual event. Registration provides you access to all aspects of General Synod, including worship, optional events, business, 50 workshops, exhibit hall, keynote speakers and much more.
General Synod events will occur in the later half of the day to afford all an increased ability to engage. Registration is more affordable this year than it’s ever been!Delegate: $175
Adult or Young Adult Visitor: $100
Youth: $150
General Synod 33’s Children and Family resources features ten children’s videos and corresponding activity sheets, each including a welcome, scripture, reflection, song, and closing prayer. Activities create conversations about God and how God is at work in the world! These conversations build roots of faith for the youngest among us and nurture what God has been growing in our hearts.
Each week we will highlight a few of the workshops that will be available for your engagement during General Synod. You can learn more about all 50 workshops here.
Lift Every Voice: UCC Churches Lift their Voices to Proclaim, “Know Justice, Know Peace”Saturday, July 10 – 1:00 – 2:00 pm ETHost: Rev. Dr. Sheila Harvey GuillaumeThis workshop will include the Revs. Geoffrey Black, Michael Neuroth and Sheila Harvey Guillaume, who will address the many ways our UCC Just Peace congregations lift their voices towards a movement of love, peace and justice for all. The workshop will also include a video montage of Just Peace Churches from across the regional diversity of the United Church of Christ, who will proclaim what being a Just Peace Church means to them. Following the video montage, the UCC Just Peace Steering Committee will share more about the Just Peace Movement and offer a time for Q&A to invite feedback and discussion about the Just Peace process. 

Transforming the Overdose Crisis: Creating Communities and Congregations of CareThursday, July 8 – 6:00 – 7:00 pm ETHosts: Reverend Donna Schaper, Reverend Elyse Berry, Erica Poellot, Blyth Barnow, Terrell Jones, Marilyn Reyes, and Jose MartinezWe are in the midst of an overdose crisis, but first and foremost, we are in the midst of a spiritual crisis and a moral crisis. We are in a crisis which fails to recognize the full humanity of our beloved who use drugs, which condemns people who carry their burdens and their joys in ways beyond our ability to understand. Most significantly, we are in a crisis which fails to recognize God in black and brown people. Join Overdose and Drug Use Ministries as we share our new toolkit for transforming the overdose crisis through the creation of congregations and communities of care.

General Synod Worship Director Rev. Tracy Howe is planning team members, liturgists, and more for the worship programming for General Synod 33. Learn about worship opportunities at this historic, virtual event and the rich experience of our worship leaders.
Precious Cargo D.C.-area couple delivers olive oil, which supports Palestinian fair trade farmers and will be used at General Synod, to Church House in Cleveland. LEARN MORE 

A Both/And ChurchAdvocates ask General Synod to embrace contemplation, rethink ‘Earth’s rights.’READ MORE ABOUT RESOLUTIONS
Meet.UCC is the location where you can find everything you need to participate in General Synod 2021. You will find all the links that you need to access all activities that you signed up for during your registration process. Your schedule will be built, so you can navigate each area easilyIt includes the most current text of the overtures and other recommendations that have been forwarded to the assembly. Track each item of business as it moves through the assembly meeting, and see whether the recommendation was amended, approved, or disapproved.
Worship will stream live on the United Church of Christ YouTube and Facebook channels and on will occur:
Sunday, July 11
Wednesday, July 14
Sunday, July 18

Your registration will give you access to all workshops. Save the dates of July 7-10 for the live workshops (before General Synod). Or watch them afterwards, anytime before August 31. Your username and password for Frontline Faith is the same that you use to register for General Synod.

Join Minister for Volunteer Engagement (Rev. Elena Larssen), working group members, National Setting staff, and others who are helping to provide a safe and welcoming online Synod experience.