A Gathering of Two Bi-National Synods?
June 3, 2014
Updated June 19, 2018
1 comment 90 views
I am delighted that there will be joint sessions of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) and the Reformed Church in America (RCA) this month in Pella, Iowa.
This may sound like a recurring refrain but here we have the CRCNA (a bi-national synod) meeting with the RCA (a national synod). There are a lot of Reformed roots there and I don't want to minimize the importance of this gathering. There is, however, very little connection between the RCA and the Canadian segment of the CRCNA. RCA's Canadian counterpart — the Reformed Church in Canada — is a very small denomination, with merely a sprinkling of small congregations and very little interaction with them.
It is my hope and prayer that when Synod next meets in Canada there will be joint meetings of Synod between the CRCNA and The Presbyterian Church in Canada. There is a strong relationship between Canadian CRCs and the PCC ... certainly as strong as that between American CRCs and the RCA. During early immigrant years, thousands of Dutch Reformed folk joined the Canadian Presbyterian denomination. Today, the Dutch are the second largest ethnic group after the Scotts within the Presbyterian Church in Canada.
I served as the communication director for PCC for nine years and I heard a recurring refrain about how the Presbyterians regret not being much more proactive in attracting Dutch Reformed immigrants during the 1950s. Had they beat CRC home missionaries to the punch, we would today have a large, vibrant Presbyterian Church as the largest Protestant denomination in Canada. And probably no Canadian CRC.
So, while the CRCNA and RCA celebrate their historic roots in Pella this month, it is my hope that the CRCNA and PCC can do the same whenever the CRC Synod comes to Canada.
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Just a (perhaps) minor correction. The RCA is a bi-national denomination, though it may be much less intentional about its bi-national identity than the CRCNA. Unless there is another Reformed Church in Canada that I'm not aware of, the one you mention in your post is not a denomination, but a regional synod within the RCA.
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