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From my perspective, growing up atheist, those words were part of the general vocabulary, I was at least familiar with them even if I didn’t exactly know who was part of a diocese. I had really never heard of Classis. I suspect it is because the CRC is considerably smaller than the other denominations. I’d never heard of the CRC either until I walked into a CRC church some 15 years ago. Obviously I liked it! Still here. 

Water down salvation? Oh, no, God forbid, not from my perspective. I became a Christian at age 27 (38 years ago!) from generations of secular humanists and I am very clear that sin and hell are real. Hell might be a bit more remote (I believe it exists) but sin is present and crystal clear. Rest assured that the newcomers I know, never want to water down the beauty of the Gift of Salvation, the Gospel of good news. It saved us from ourselves here on earth, let alone the promise of eternity with Him in a place without sin and death, Heaven. 

I think you nailed it with the sense of exclusion for all those terms... It implies that the business of the church or 'spirituality' is not for the everyday person. That is a grave mistake. The common people heard Jesus gladly, as I remember (Mark 12:37). Ok, yes they also cried crucify Him but who started that chant...

What a vital ministry you are involved in. I’m not directly involved with Safe Church either (my husband is) but I find it comforting to know the CRC is actively working on the issue of Abuse with such excellence, and thought if you didn’t know about it, it would encourage you to know that as well

This is just wonderful and strongly resonates with what increasingly echoes in my heart:

Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9

I had not heard of this Overture. Interesting that an Overture is the first part of a Symphony. If I could start from the ground up I would call it a Cluster. 

While I agree with the gentleman above about the confusion created by renaming or ‘rebranding’ I also believe in ever reforming.

More and more, people from diverse background are populating the CRC. I have found that even life-long CRC’ers are intimidated by such an ‘erudite’ word, which seems to suggest they do not belong. I have spent more time trying to explain the name (while unable to explain its choice) seeing as how Latin has been no one's primary language for centuries. The other interesting note is that Synod is a Greek word -is this a dual nod to the Vulgate and the original NT? I’m thinking out loud here. I would be for changing it but have no clue as to the cost repercussions and whether that would be worth it. 

For now, I would just like to point out that it is a forbidding term and not quite as welcoming of the ‘everyday person’ as the governing structure of the CRCNA (which I love) implies. Wisdom does often come from humble sources.  I am grateful everyday that Jesus spoke in the language of everyday people, both Aramaic (I believe) and pictures/parables. Also, I resist the idea that people have to be ‘initiated’ into it as it were, in order to really belong. We are the Body of Christ, which is taken from every tribe and nation. We’re only a  portion of it to be sure, but the invitation to belong to His Body went out to “whomsoever will.” 

 

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