Big decisions and highlights from General Synod 2018.
The General Synod of the Reformed Church in America met June 7-12, 2018, on the campus of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Synod of the Christian Reformed Church in North America also met on Calvin’s campus during that period, and delegates from both denominations joined together on several occasions.
Alemán is a pastor, church planter, and nurturer of leaders—and now the sixth general secretary of the RCA. He officially begins on July 1.
The group will explore three possible scenarios for the RCA’s future, and what they recommend could bring some big changes for the RCA. Interim general secretary Don Poest proposed the 2020 Vision Group in his report to synod, following a year of observations from across the denomination.
RCA and CRC Concur—in More Ways Than One
The RCA and CRC held concurrent synods this year, and delegates had opportunities to come together throughout synod. During joint advisory committee discussions, RCA and CRC delegates concurred: they want to work together even more in the future. Read more about the opportunities for future partnership they discussed. Delegates also celebrated the ways they already work together; read about three of them here. Delegates came together for worship multiple times, including opening worship and a community worship service on Sunday evening, during which everyone in the auditorium was brought to their feet and led in a liturgical dance.
Synod also celebrated:
- The 40th anniversary of women’s ordination to the office of minister of Word and sacrament. Here’s a video celebrating how RCA women are leading in the church and beyond.
- The ministry of our newest missionaries. You can get to know them here.
- The election of EJ de Waard as vice president for General Synod 2019. De Waard is the pastor of Owasco Reformed Church in Owasco, New York.
- The election of James Nakakihara as president of General Synod 2019. Nakakihara is an elder at Rancho Community Reformed Church in Temecula, California.
In other business:
- General Synod directed the general secretary to write to the president of the United States in support of strategies to reduce gun violence and to urge local churches to advocate for actions to reduce gun violence.
- General Synod urged congregations and the general secretary to speak up in support of DACA and immigration reform, specifically condemning the separation of children from their families.
- Synod approved recommendations to form leadership collaboratives for small churches and global church planting, based on proposals put forth in General Synod president Lee DeYoung’s report.
- Synod commended the #wearespeaking statement and urged the development of sexual harassment policies and training. Read and sign the full statement here.
- Synod commended to churches the Great Lakes Catechism on Marriage and Sexuality for reflection, study, and response.
- Synod approved the formation of a permanent Pastoral Formation Oversight Board.
The pastor of Owasco Reformed Church wants to serve alongside the denomination
On June 10, the synods of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) and the Reformed Church in America (RCA) gathered for worship in the DeVos Center for Arts and Worship at Grand Rapids Christian High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
General Synod approved a recommendation to affirm the RCA’s #wearespeaking statement, which calls for an end to harassment, abuse, and sexual violence against women and girls.
Time-sensitive request allows affinity classis to avert likely dissolution