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?