It is all well and good to say that we want to keep the main thing the main thing. Problem is, we can’t decide on the main thing.
Two overtures are coming to Synod next week regarding the current pension system of the denomination.
I have this sense that among young leaders there is a growing attitude rejecting traditional forms of church governance. A lot of us have a hard time with the idea that the decisions made by this binational gathering will have any helpful impact on the day to day work of the Kingdom of God. At the same time, some of these young leaders have started a hashtag #crcgroundswell looking for stories of God’s Holy Spirit at work in our churches...
The Faith Formation Study Committee has been working steadily for the past four years. What could have been a contentious issue (adapting the practice of profession of faith and allowing “age and ability appropriate faith in Jesus Christ” to be the marker of admittance to The Lord’s Supper) has been utilized as an opportunity for church congregations, ministry leaders and councils to reflect again on the gracious nature of faith.
Grand Rapids, Mich. – The Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church in North America met on May 2 and 3, 2013 at the denominational offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan. During this meeting the Board...
Overture 15 from Classis Northern Illinois asks that we “Mandate Denominational Agencies and the Board of Trustees to Develop Concrete Strategies to Carry Out the Great Commission.” This is supported with four grounds (reasons):
This year at Synod, Classis Zeeland wants us to “Appoint a study committee to expand on the 1973 report and conclusions on homosexuality.” And Classis Pacific Northwest wants us to “provide pastoral advice on the issue of gay marriage.” Now, people of God...
A key topic of discussion at Synod 2013 will, undoubtedly, be the bi-national character of our denomination. Also undoubtedly, it is brought forward to us in Overture 5 from Classis Toronto and in Overture 6 from Classis Niagara.
A key theme throughout the Agenda for Synod 2013 is the necessity to restructure the denomination. I’ll admit I feel anxious putting this out there but only because I’m going to be blamed for saying in public what any number of people have wondered about it private...
Although I read through the Structure and Culture Report (page 348), although I looked at the budget numbers, I remain unconvinced that the tail isn’t trying to wag the dog.
By far, the issue with greatest coverage in the Agenda is that of a Study Report out of the Office of Deacon Task Force. I really recommend reading it for yourselves as I believe the report is a model of how these things ought to be laid out. It is confessional, conversant in the relevant threads of church polity and winsome to boot.
I confess to having run stuck on Overtures 3 & 4. Perhaps you have too? No matter your opinion, most of us aren’t diffident in holding them or taciturn in voicing them. Let’s own that at the outset. These overtures seem likely to create a 2013 synod sensation.
It seems, according to the latest posting on The Banner's website, that we're having a difficult time finding a new executive director to head of the Christian Reformed Church in North America corporation. It seems as though the latest nominee withdrew before the Board of Trustees interview and...
I mentioned in my last blog post that I have never been a delegate to Synod. Judging from that post, I’ll bet you can see why. But I do have an inkling of admiration for the Sheila Holmes and George Vander Weits and Thea Leunks of our denomination. God bless them, every one!
The Church Order can teach us a few things about Synod and all of these things outlined are laudable goals and important issues for the life of the denomination: ecumenical relationships, orthodoxy in belief and worship. But I still don’t see the why in Synod. Is it possible the day might come when we recognize a thriftier and swifty-er way of doing the work commissioned to us?
THIS YEAR-- dear brethren & sisteren, I have done it. In a feat of institutional fortitude, I have thoroughly skimmed the entire agenda, even marking pages for further consideration. So you might ask yourself (with apologies to the beautiful Hebrew Seder) “How is this year unlike every other year?” Well, dear reader, this year I am your official Synod blogger!
The Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church in North America met on Feb. 21-22, 2013 in Burlington, Ontario. Here are some of the key items and decisions.
Grand Rapids, Mich. – The Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church in North America met on Sept. 27 to 29 at the Prince Conference Center of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.During this meeting the Board:
Synod and Summer 2012 have come and gone. Where I live the weather was hot and dry. Some synod discussions and debates surely may have been hot, in committee, over mealtimes and in plenary sessions. But from what I heard and gleaned, they were never dry. Nor was the Synod Network conversation.
As the church order implications of our recommendation were discussed in 2011, a motion was made from the floor to delete one sentence from article 59 of the church order: “This public profession of faith includes a commitment to the creeds and confessions of the Christian Reformed Church.” That motion was discussed and approved without comment from our committee, but the instant it was passed we realized that we had blundered in our silence.
This piece is neither a report nor an evaluation. It is an account of my own feelings and reactions to Synod 2012. Feelings, as we all know, are fickle. Some of mine are not as vibrant as they were that first week in June. But they continue, nonetheless, so I am taking the risk of sharing some of them with you who are reading this now.
How about a comprehensive creation care audit of our denominational, congregational and personal practices and attitudes of entitlement or perceived necessity, not just to reuse and recycle, but to reduce environmental impact?
When churches start becoming experts on pipelines and ecology, does that mean oil companies can become experts on theology? or on missions? or on church buildings? or on ecclesiastical structures? on Sunday school teachers? Maybe we should reconsider Overture 3 of the last synod. or on...
Though largely respectful the debate and vote on creation care were not without their oddities. Four registered negative votes on three recommendations indicate that at least three decisions drew disapproval.
This letter is written primarily in response to Overture 3, which requested that a study be conducted to determine “the difference between the mission of the church as institution and as organism” (Agenda for Synod 2012, p. 467), regarding whether the official church may take and proffer positions on certain matters or whether such matters should be left to individual members of the church.