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There will be a number of “firsts” at Synod 2011, some that will probably cause concern and some that will probably cause rejoicing.

Synod 2011 will be unique in a number of ways. Because of the recent resignation of Rev. Jerry Dykstra, it will be the first in recent memory where our denomination’s executive director is not available to assist the synodical officers. Because of the retirement of Dr. Henry De Moor, it will also be the first in recent memory where our denomination’s “resident expert” on the Church Order will not be present. The Seminary professors take turns attending synod, but generally Dr. De Moor has attended all of them. At one where he was absent a delegate pleaded with the chair to call Dr. De Moor for his advice! What do you think the absence of these two people will mean for synod?

This will also be the first synod at which a person of color is introduced to synod as the director of one of our major agencies. Rev. Moses Chung, a Korean pastor, is the new director of Home Missions. This is a significant step for the CRC.

It will also be the first at which youth advisers, youth 18-26, will be present. Youth observers were present at Synods 2009 & 10, but now they, like ethnic advisers, will have the privilege of the floor. Some say that our youth are the future of the church. True, but isn’t it also true that our youth are already the church?

This will also be the first synod that ends with a joint session with the synod of the Reformed Church in America. This joint session is “a celebration of the partnering and cooperation of the CRC and RCA for the sake of a joint Reformed witness in North America” (Agenda, p. 267). Hopefully, this will be a positive experience for both denominations in our journey to find more ways to work together to advance God’s Kingdom.

Am I missing any other “firsts?



Great to have you on board.  I know that you will bring some great insight and tons of knowledge to this section of the Network.  You are the consummate Synod guy. ;-)




George--Thanks for coming on to The Network for the Synod section. Amazing---FOUR blogs posted less than 30 minutes apart! It takes some of us four WEEKS to put that many out.

Blessings--and waiting for more to come.


Dear George (fellow synodical delegate in 2006),

I'm happy to see you leading the conversation in the synod section of the Network!  You are very well qualified, imo!  Blessings to you.

Stanley Groothof
Telkwa BC  |  Classis BCNW

First Synod where the BOT has taken the place of Synod, and many other denominational leadership roles; and is consequently making rather than suggesting decisions.

Two questions: (1) are we a denomination that is ruled by committee, or where social and political agendas take precedence to our Reformed heritage?  (2) Is the BOT an interim committee, or something else?

In my humble opinion- we have a wonderful church and there are many that are full of the Spirit of God leading the church in many wonderful ways, and God will be praised!

However, just recently it seems "the denominational ship is making some mournful sounds of bulkheads breaking, and slowly beginning to slip beneath the waves!"

George, I really hesitated to put these thoughts in writing; but recent events have struck me as this is exactly what is happening. 


Dutchoven: The first sentence of your post indicates that your two questions are not really questions. They are accusations.  You seem to be saying that the BOT is abusing its mandate to act on behalf of synod when synod is not in session.  You also seem to be saying that, while “there are many that are full of the Spirit of God leading the church in many wonderful ways,” the members of the BOT are not among those many.   

It's easy to criticize people at the top, and we all do it---our council, our classis, our synod, our boss, our president, etc., etc.---and criticism gets easier when we don't know the people we're criticizing. We need to remember the BOT members are volunteers, ministers and church members just like the rest of us, who are attempting to do what is best for the church. 

That doesn't mean we can't question their judgment.  It does mean we should be careful about what we say about their actions.

I think we all must be careful in how we assess this situation; but I do stand by my assessment of we have "a first."

George, I do know one member on the BOT rather well.  I assume the other individuals who represent their regions are of the highest caliber as that individual. Each is doing his or her best...prayerfully I would presume and with the utmost care and thought.

However, there is a perception beyond the BOT and its members, that all is not well with our leadership at this time. Somehow that perception must be corrected- I would presume it will be when Synod meets, so we all need to be patient.

If we review the landscape of or church's history, we see it littered with issues and events that today are rather insignificant to us...perhaps all this will fall into that category 25, or 50 years from now.  However, "we are who we were," and whether we are talking race, politics, or religion, "we are who we are today"- by unmeasured grace.

Still, as that wonderful poem goes...we must take a stand and not leave butt prints in the sand.

May our loving heavenly Father surround the members of the BOT, our church, you and me with his loving arms...and carry us through, this I am confident that he will. 

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