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.
Overture 15 from Classis Northern Illinois asks that we “Mandate Denominational Agencies and the Board of Trustees to Develop Concrete Strategies to Carry Out the Great Commission.” This is supported with four grounds (reasons):
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 topic of discussion at Synod 2013 will, undoubtedly, be the bi-national character of our denomination. Also undoubtedly, it is brought forward to us in Overture 5 from Classis Toronto and in Overture 6 from Classis Niagara.
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...
Although I read through the Structure and Culture Report (page 348), although I looked at the budget numbers, I remain unconvinced that the tail isn’t trying to wag the dog.
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?
Originally, I don't think this post followed on the heels of the one about re-studying to advise the church on homosexuality. That changes whether I thought it would recieve more or fewer hits...posted on: Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing
That's a really interesting point about "a scarcity mentality." I don't want us plotting our future from a place of anxiety, fear or lack of trust in God's provision. AND I want us to be wise,...posted on: Wag the Dog
Thank you so much for your reply. I confess to being disheartened by the lack of responses to what I think is a really interesting study report. I appreciate the historical insight you bring to...posted on: Diakonia Remix
Yeah. What Derek said.
The true trouble with our denomination's situation with regard to differing opinions on women serving in ecclesiastical office is that there are no easy parallels -- at least none...
Norm, semantics are not lost of me. I have been on the receiving end of similar slights of course. I will work hard to not allow good argumentation to become bogged down in petty jabs.
stay tuned for two more posts where I attempt to lay these arguments out. PLEASE feel free to respond there. As always, you have quite a remarkable gift for the politics and nuances of these...
Help me understand your point, Harry. Is the church better in the eyes of the world in multiple independant church variations or is it better when churches hold onto each other in affiliations (...
Ah, then, you know this conversation well. It is the same churches petitioning for the development of a new classis because, at Synod 2010 they were not allowed to join a Classis hundreds of...
That article certainly is an important read but I'm not sure how much it applies here. I do not want to lump the members of Classis Grand Rapids North or my own beloved Classis Kalamazoo in with...