Representatives of the denomination assured the Press that there was no wrongdoing involved and that “Jerry remains a member in good standing in the CRC.” Fifteen days after its original press release the BOT informed the denomination of that. It would have been helpful to state this in the original press release. A day later the Banner posted a story in which Jerry said he was not “forced out,” a term used in the Press article. He said, “The Board and I came to a mutual agreement that it was best that I leave.”
So, what is synod to do?
In 2006 our executive director-designee resigned, and the BOT informed synod that it was “prepared to provide synod with a full accounting of the circumstances that led to the decisions made” (Agenda for Synod 2006, p. 25). Synod went into executive session, and it appeared that all the details would be discussed. However, on the basis of an error in procedure a delegate made a motion that the matter be sent back to the advisory committee, that an elder from the executive director-designee’s church, who was prepared to speak to the matter, meet with the committee, and, if possible, that the matter come back to the floor with the disagreements addressed so the full synod wouldn’t need to hear every detail. The delegate said, "The more you stir manure the more it smells." Fortunately, the matter was successfully handled in advisory committee.
Synod 2011 should learn from Synod 2006. All synodical delegates don't need to know and make a judgment on all the details that caused the BOT to ask for Rev. Dykstra's resignation. As Rev. Mark Vermaire, president of the BOT said in the Banner article, “the reasons are properly confidential between Dykstra and the Board.” Nonetheless, the Board is responsible to synod, and the advisory committee to whom this matter is assigned must be convinced that the BOT had legitimate grounds for its action. If it’s convinced, synod should accept its recommendation without seeking to know all the details.
Whether the BOT had legitimate grounds for its action is the major issue. Unfortunately, the nature of the press release has created another issue. Hindsight is 20/20, but it seems that a press release immediately assuring the church that Rev. Dykstra remains a minister in good standing and indicating that the Board itself initiated this action would have raised less questions and built more credibility. Surely, the BOT and Rev. Dykstra could have agreed on wording sensitive to both parties. Perhaps the BOT needs some guidelines for these unfortunate situations.