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
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Since synod is the highest ruling assembly, is it the pope of the Christian Reformed denomination? Sometimes it feels that way, but that question misunderstands the nature of the authority and function of our denominational assemblies. The Church Order, a set of regulations by which our denomination is governed, states
Most of our members know that synod meets once a year. Most of them are probably not aware of how much work is done beforehand to ensure that these meetings run well. Preparations for synod begin months before synod actually convenes. Study committee reports must be available to the churches by November 1 of the previous year so churches and classes have time to consider them and to respond
Synod 2011 must end at noon on Thursday, June 16, because a joint session with the synod of the Reformed Church in America is scheduled for the afternoon of that day. Because synod must end then, it will begin on Friday, June 10, a day earlier than usual. Though unstated we have another exception
At Synod 1987 a fellow delegate taught me new words for the second stanza of “Onward, Christian Soldiers:" “Like a mighty turtle moves the church of God; brothers, we are treading where we’ve always trod.” I found myself singing that song again when I read some of the overtures to Synod 2011.
Who's coming to Synod 2011? What do the numbers say about our efforts to reflect our ethnic and gender diversity in our broadest assembly? What do they say about our members' interest in this assembly? It would be interesting to hear some perspectives on
This year’s Agenda is first to report on our progress in incorporating ethnic minorities and women on denominational boards. It reports “a decrease of five women and a decrease of four persons of color on the boards over the previous year (p. 26).” No Agenda has ever reported on our progress in attaining our goal of at least one ethnic
How does the language in which we communicate the gospel affect people? Do our words give the impression that God is irrelevant to “normal” life? Do our words help or hinder people in their relationship to the church, and more importantly, to God?
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 ...doesn’t draw that kind of attention.
Will the new hymnal cooperatively published by our denomination and the Reformed Church in America (RCA) include the Heidelberg Catechism and the rest of our creeds and confessions? Initially, the answer was “yes.” Now Faith Alive Christian Resources is asking Synod 2011 to say “no.”
Synod 2006 adopted a motion “to allow for the admission of all baptized members to the Lord’s Supper on the basis of their full membership in the covenant community” and instructed the Board of Trustees to appoint a task force to, among other things, “bring any appropriate Church Order Articles into conformity
Does the word "clear" mean that someone is going to present an undeniable truth that is evident to all, or is it a red flag signaling that a position not unanimously held is being propped up by a high-sounding word? Whenever I hear the word "clear" I instinctively, and sometimes unfairly, reach for my
Ever since the “resignation” of our executive director, lots of questions have been raised. That’s fine. But lots of allegations have also been made. That’s not so fine. We need to remember that BOT members are volunteers, ministers and church members just like the rest of us...That doesn't mean we can't question
In one of my pre-synod blogs I asked, “Does the recommendation of the Board of Trustees about future hires of the CRC’s senior leadership ensure greater diversity or does it set us up for another failure? Now that synod has adopted that recommendation, the same question can be asked.
Since 1997, when the denomination went to a one-week synod, a number of delegates have observed that there is simply not enough time to discuss the matters under consideration. The eye is always on the clock, and sometimes motions are made to restrict speeches to a certain number of minutes or to restrict discussion to a
For me it’s time to say farewell. For you who’ve read any of the posts about Synod 2011 it’s time to give The Network and the Board of Trustees some feedback. Was this blog helpful? Did it give you a broader understanding of what Synod 2011 would be addressing? Should the Board do something similar
Our current study of “The Form of Subscription,” a document that all officebearers sign to indicate their agreement with the doctrinal teachings of the denomination, began in 2004 when a classis asked synod to study the effectiveness of the Form. Seven years later “A Covenant for Officebearers” is being presented to Synod 2011.
Recently, our denominational Board of Trustees (BOT) told us, "Rev. Jerry Dykstra informed the CRC Board of Trustees of his desire to resign as Executive Director of the CRCNA for personal and family reasons." However, in an interview with the Grand Rapids Press Rev. Dykstra said "the BOT made the decision
Against the advice of the majority, synod adopted Declaration F. Nineteen years later Synod 2010 declared it was no longer part of our official position on creation and science. An overture to Synod 2011 contends, “the practical effect of that decision was to allow persons within the CRC to adopt evolutionary