Saturday, June 14, 2008

N'Snc - When our Church is NOT!

Exeter CRC remains a "one man show" How can so many "learned" people be so wrong (or how can the narrow minded misogynists be so right?). God help of from the "Christians"! JofA

Synod 2008 Opens Historic Session

June 14, 2008—Synod 2008 made history today by welcoming women as delegates and then by electing a woman to its executive.

Rev. Thea Leunk, pastor of Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, was elected as vice president of the Christian Reformed Church in North America’s annual general assembly, which opened Saturday morning at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Rev. Joel Boot, the pastor of Ridgewood CRC in Jenison, Mich., was elected as president of synod for the second year in a row.

“Sisters and brothers, this has been a long time in coming. This is an historic occasion. I consider it to be a distinct honor and privilege to be leading you through this,” said Boot in his opening remarks.

“Last year’s synod made what is happening at this synod permissible. This year’s synod must show that this is possible.”

Last year’s synod voted to allow women to serve as delegates, a change that this year has brought 26 women to synod among the 188 delegates.

Elected as first clerk of this year’s synod was Rev. Leslie Kuiper, pastor of First CRC in Oostburg, Wisc. Rev. Laryn Zoerhof, pastor of First CRC in De Motte, Ind., was elected second clerk.

Delegates to synod, which is scheduled to meet June 14-21, will discuss and make decisions on issues ranging from a revised contemporary testimony to a review of the form of subscription that church officebearers must sign.

Also on the agenda is a recommendation to enter into full fellowship with the Protestant Church of the Netherlands as well as an extensive report calling for a more pastoral approach to ministering to persons who have been abused as well as the abusers themselves.

Rev. Richard Verkaik, pastor of the River Walk Community CRC in Battle Creek, Mich., the convening church for Synod 2008, opened the morning session by welcoming the women delegates. He called on all delegates to do their job in love and with consideration for all of the views and beliefs that they bring to the meeting.

“The church wins if you serve in love,” he said. “If you love … God will be glorified and what would be better than that.”

Verkaik also asked for prayers for agencies of the CRC, particularly the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee that “must be stretched to its very limits responding to all of the world’s crises overseas” and now in the Midwest that has been battered by tornadoes, heavy rains and floods.

During the opening session, delegates and visitors filled the Fine Arts Center with their voices of praise. In addition, Rev. Herman Keizer, director of the CRC’s Chaplaincy Services, introduced the more than 80 CRC chaplains who were in town to attend an annual chaplain’s conference.

Rev. Jerry Dykstra, executive director of the CRCNA, ended the morning session by telling delegates that they will be asked to work hard in various study committees prior to the first plenary session of synod, which could be Monday.

On Sunday afternoon, delegates will gather in the Calvin College chapel for a service of prayer and praise. In the evening, there will be a showing of “Our Family Album,” a video about the history of the CRC.

- Chris Meehan, CRC Communications

1 comment:

jonathan said...

One contrary opinion that has been voiced on this blog is "If you don't like it here, then leave!". This conclusion is a staple of the CRC tradition -- a church community defined by its ability to split infinitely. While there are some that leave, and some that stick it out in Exeter CRC, I wonder what council's response to developments down in Grand Rapids will be. If the divide over the role of women is indeed spiritual warfare, and if the need to maintain the status quo regarding women is tantamount to the very integrity of God's living Word, how will council respond to all these women making important decisions at synod -- decisions that directly effect Exeter CRC itself? It's only going to get worse, and worse, and worse from here on in. Basically, women in positions of authority at Synod are empowered to make decisions that Exeter council -- men -- are expected to follow.

Members of Exeter's congregation are expected to follow the wisdom of its council, for good or for ill. Do the same rules apply to council in following the wisdom of Synod? Or is it time for Exeter's council to draw a line in the sand, and secede from the CRC community? Is this something council ponders, as it seeks to do what is best for its congregation?

What are we supposed to do when those who protest the refusal to allow women positions of authority in Exeter -- the fringe -- are more in line with the CRC community at large? Doesn't council have a responsibility to harmonize with the decisions of Synod?

Or does Exeter's council need to start up its own blog -- one that offers a critique of Synod?