Every local congregation in the CRC is connected to Classis and Denomination. Elders and pastors have responsibility for that connection. Our connections to one another are not automatic. Family and friendship ties may help us keep somewhat informed about life in other congregations, but these informal relationships are inadequate. Like facebook and twitter we become informed about some details, but the quality and depth of the relationships require deeper conversation and shared life. This happens by taking seriously the covenant relationships we make with each other. Elders and pastors bear responsibility for this.
I was reminded of this as I began to read the reports coming to Synod this year. Creation Care, Form of Subscription, and Belhar are all reports that encourage us to reflect on our Reformed expression of our Christian Faith in our present context. They raise important questions. The answers force us to consider the moral framework of our engagement in the world. The answers effect our integrity as people of a Reformed community.
This is the time of the year when elders need to take responsibility for the congregations relationship to the denomination and engage the reports as they come before Classis and Synod. Take some time in a council meeting to discuss these reports.
Our covenant connection has been a strength of our churches. But we cannot assume this relationship will remain strong. Many times in our day we lament the decline of denominational bonds. We need to do more than lament it. These relationships are encouraged by engaging in the conversation that invites us to deepen our commitment to a reformed perspective and engagement in our world. These reports can help us. Let us not miss the opportunity.