Synod 2013 has made a believer out of me. There I said it.In my first post as Synod Blogger, I confessed to y’all that, with the exception of a few critical issues, I have never followed Synod all that closely. Delegates to the Spring gathering of Classis Hackensack will recall I deferred being a delegate with this martyr’s concession: “I’ll fall on my sword next year.”
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The 450th Anniversary of the Heidelberg Catechism is this year. What does one get for a Catechism?
The Faith Formation Study Committee has been working steadily for the past four years. What could have been a contentious issue (adapting the practice of profession of faith and allowing “age and ability appropriate faith in Jesus Christ” to be the marker of admittance to The Lord’s Supper) has been utilized as an opportunity for church congregations, ministry leaders and councils to reflect again on the gracious nature of faith.
This year at Synod, Classis Zeeland wants us to “Appoint a study committee to expand on the 1973 report and conclusions on homosexuality.” And Classis Pacific Northwest wants us to “provide pastoral advice on the issue of gay marriage.” Now, people of God...
A key theme throughout the Agenda for Synod 2013 is the necessity to restructure the denomination. I’ll admit I feel anxious putting this out there but only because I’m going to be blamed for saying in public what any number of people have wondered about it private...
By far, the issue with greatest coverage in the Agenda is that of a Study Report out of the Office of Deacon Task Force. I really recommend reading it for yourselves as I believe the report is a model of how these things ought to be laid out. It is confessional, conversant in the relevant threads of church polity and winsome to boot.
I confess to having run stuck on Overtures 3 & 4. Perhaps you have too? No matter your opinion, most of us aren’t diffident in holding them or taciturn in voicing them. Let’s own that at the outset. These overtures seem likely to create a 2013 synod sensation.
I mentioned in my last blog post that I have never been a delegate to Synod. Judging from that post, I’ll bet you can see why. But I do have an inkling of admiration for the Sheila Holmes and George Vander Weits and Thea Leunks of our denomination. God bless them, every one!
The Church Order can teach us a few things about Synod and all of these things outlined are laudable goals and important issues for the life of the denomination: ecumenical relationships, orthodoxy in belief and worship. But I still don’t see the why in Synod. Is it possible the day might come when we recognize a thriftier and swifty-er way of doing the work commissioned to us?
THIS YEAR-- dear brethren & sisteren, I have done it. In a feat of institutional fortitude, I have thoroughly skimmed the entire agenda, even marking pages for further consideration. So you might ask yourself (with apologies to the beautiful Hebrew Seder) “How is this year unlike every other year?” Well, dear reader, this year I am your official Synod blogger!