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Overtures sent to any synod focus on study committee reports that synod is receiving or on something that is “hot” in the denomination. And members of the denomination ask each other, “What are the BIG issues that this synod will address? The routine work of our denominational agencies, standing committees and denominationally related agencies doesn’t draw that kind of attention. 

In fact, some synodical delegates say, “I’m serving on a really boring advisory committee. We’re examining a huge financial report or we’re consider a bunch of reports from various folks.” As is true in all of life, the routine isn’t very glamorous and it doesn’t generate a lot of excitement. But how crucial it really is! Study committees, overtures, and “hot” issues come and go, but year after year we count on the faithful work of our denominational agencies, standing committees and denominationally related agencies. Sometimes we don’t appreciate its presence, but we would certain be impoverished by its absence.

Simply paging through any synodical agenda reminds us of the worldwide reach of the CRC and of the tremendous amount of work performed by staff, missionaries, chaplains, and countless volunteers who love the Savior and the denomination.

As is true with overtures, all reports from these folks are carefully considered by an advisory committee. Most of the time the committee offers a recommendation so synod can formally express its gratitude for the work of that particular agency or committee. At one synod the advisory committee on which I served appointed our members to offer a prayer for an agency/committee/college after we had presented our recommendations on its report. That’s a practice worth imitating.

As you pray for and think about Synod 2011, give thanks for faithful servants who advance the ministry of our denomination. Make that thanks personal when you meet these people. And while you’re at it, do the same to those who do the routine, but crucial, work of your own congregation and classis.

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