This letter is written primarily in response to Overture 3, which requested that a study be conducted to determine “the difference between the mission of the church as institution and as organism” (Agenda for Synod 2012, p. 467), regarding whether the official church may take and proffer positions on certain matters or whether such matters should be left to individual members of the church.
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The Acts of Synod 2012, including decisions of synod and supplementary materials to the Agenda for Synod 2012, is now accessible in an electronic version. Hard copies of the Acts will be sent to the churches as soon as they become available in late August.
Does “a rose by any other name” sound as sweet? Synod 2012 agreed with the Candidacy Committee that there is a more fitting name for those ordained via Article 23 of the CRC Church Order. The office formerly known as “ministry associate” is now known as “commissioned pastor”.
In a few years, perhaps Belhar will have taken root in our hearts and minds, worked on our consciences and souls as it could not have had the advisory committee never daringly and faithfully followed God’s Spirit and decided to stay united. Remember my paraphrase of the old hymn: “God moves in a mysterious way—our blunders to reform.”
After the event on June 8th, I was stunned at how many people aged 50+ came up to me with tears in their eyes, either mourning how their children had left the Church or overwhelmed by the purity in the exchange of the evening – generations interacting, worshipping and singing in unity.
The voice vote was unanimous and, apparently, enthusiastic. I (along with my committee colleagues) was a little stunned. After all this time and after the near rancor of last year’s discussion at Synod—now unanimity and applause? Whatever! And most of all, thanks be to God.
So, what’s wrong with the name Christian Reformed World Relief Committee? Nothing’s wrong with it. It just doesn’t fit as well as it used to. Sometime in the next few days Synod will be faced with a significant decision about Christian Reformed World Relief Committee...
Weighing in at 114 pages, the Creation Stewardship Task Force Report is the physical heavyweight of all reports this year. I wonder if anyone else picked up the irony that the issue it carefully deals with also results in using more natural resources in its publication than any other on the docket.
Jesus said the poor will always be with us. Ripping his passionate and compassionate observation completely out of context, it is tempting to say the “The Form of Subscription Revision Study Committee” will always be with us as well.
I sat in the Brussels Airport with dozens of different nationalities and more languages. Soon we all boarded one plane, made in Europe, run by an Indian company, and headed to Toronto. Among us we are all able to communicate basically. If we had spent a long time together, we’d have to learn to live together deeply. That's what this year's diverse Agenda begs us to do ...
I hereby solemnly pledge NOT to make this blog a soapbox for my own opinions about issues before Synod 2012--though opinions will not be entirely absent either. I am glad to be back with you. I invite your attentiveness and comments, disagreements and invitations to dinner or free tickets to Tigers or Blue Jays games.
Melissa Van Dyk mentioned the results of the Diakonia Remixed survey in her blog post and raised some questions concerning terms for deacons. The task force would like to take the opportunity, in this blog post, to preview some of our work and hear your feedback regarding terms for deacons.
There is near-unanimous agreement among the participants in the discussion (both pro and con) that the CRC should positively respond to the Belhar Confession in some way. The main point at issue is whether such a response should take the form of adopting it as a fourth “standard of faith” or whether some other form of affirmation can be designed.
Now that I have been sitting at this desk for six months, I thought it would be a good idea to send a “pastoral epistle” to the members of the Christian Reformed Church, to give you some indication of where we were, where we are, and where I believe we’re headed...
The following discussion took place on November 3, 2011 at Bethel CRC in Lansing, IL. Hosted by Classis Illiana, speakers Rev. Peter Borgdorff and Rev. John W. Cooper discuss the pro and con of adopting the Belhar Confession as a fourth confession of the CRCNA...
Synod 2011 appointed our task force to review the CRCNA organizational structure, culture, and leadership. But 10 people can't do this task alone. We need your input and perspectives to shape our report...
The following synodical reports are ready for study and reflection by the churches: (1) Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee—Belhar Report and (2) Form of Subscription Revision Committee II (2012). In addition, (3) the Creation Stewardship Task Force requested an extension in submitting their report and, thus, will be made available to the churches around mid November.
At its combined session of Synods last June the RCA and the CRC approved a joint new edition of the three historic Reformed confessions, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dort.Today, I’m pleased to announce that they are available from the Beliefs page on CRCNA.org. Here are the direct links: