Why have synods at all? Why spend the time, energy, and money to hold this week-long gathering?
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
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
What is YALT? YALT stands for the Young Adult Leadership Taskforce which was commissioned by the CRC's Leadership Exchange to investigate and begin the conversation about how churches could engage with young adults from CRC congregations, especially with reference to raising up a new generation of church leaders.
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:
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...
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...
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.