Synod 2023 took several significant actions that did not incur much discussion amid the larger impact of debates over last year’s synodical decisions.
“Even as we leave this place with much of the brokenness we came in with still all broke, let’s leave with rejoicing on our lips, because that’s always directed toward God,” Paul DeVries, president of Synod 2023, said.
Synod did not sustain an appeal by Neland Avenue CRC to Synod 2022’s order to “immediately rescind its decisions to ordain a deacon in a same-sex marriage.”
After having decided to stay with Synod 2022’s view that including homosexual sex as ‘unchaste’ has confessional status, Synod 2023 debated how to speak love and urge prevention of harm to LGBTQ+ people in the church.
Synod 2023 tried to discuss and decide on how to properly deal with gravamina—something many churches and classes had sent formal requests about. With time running out and delegates feeling unheard, the work of this synod’s committee will instead be passed on to Synod 2024.
Synod 2023 adopted changes to the Church Order proposed by Synod 2022 that make including a deacon in a delegation to synod not mandatory.
Responding to requests from one church and one classis to call churches affirming of same-sex relationships to repentance, Synod 2023 determined such churches should be “guided into compliance.”
Delegate Dave Struyk, Classis Grand Rapids South, left Synod 2023 in protest Thursday “on behalf of the pain that was caused to many LGBTQ+ people.”
After much debate and two views of how to respond, Synod 2023 upheld Synod 2022’s interpretation that “unchastity” in the Heidelberg Catechism includes “homosexual sex” and upheld the “confessional status” of that interpretation.
Considering an appeal from the council of St. Joseph (Mich.) Christian Reformed Church against a decision of Classis Holland, Synod 2023 upheld the St. Joseph council and asked for future clarity in appeal situations.
Church planter and music producer Christian Sebastia is a delegate to Synod 2023 from Classis Rocky Mountain. His daughter, Sam, is a young adult representative.
Despite several delegates urging for a delay in acting on implications of Synod 2022’s decision on the confessional status of prohibiting homosexual sex, Synod 2023 decided not to delay.
Regina Jupp, from Lombard (Ill.) CRC, creates art “made to help lift our hearts and our eyes to worship.” She contributed a three-piece sculpture to Synod 2023.
Three married couples from Ontario, Arizona, and Utah have served together at Synod 2023, the general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church.
In an “oasis” moment, Synod 2023 shared a banquet together and honored two recent or upcoming retirees.
Noting that last year only 13% of Christian Reformed students of college-age attended Calvin University, Wiebe Boer encouraged church leaders to help change that trend.
Delegates to Synod 2023 debated a proposed Code of Conduct that several churches rejected after having a year to review it, but synod accepted a modified version.
Gabriela Tijerina-Pike is the new director of Latino ministry and associate professor of New Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary.
Daniel Daley, most recently of the University of Leuven, in Belgium, is joining the faculty of Calvin Theological Seminary as assistant professor of New Testament.
Tim and Todd Kuperus and Adrian and Erik deLange are two sets of brothers at Synod 2023.
A congregation in Ontario asked Synod 2023 to adopt the 1982 Belhar Confession as a confession of the Christian Reformed Church. Synod said there was no new reason to change its 2017 response.
Synod 2023 heard from its Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee Tuesday, receiving greetings from guests and an update on the relationship with the Alliance of Reformed Churches.
Serving as a delegate for Classis Alberta South/Saskatchewan, Ryan Poelman was also presented as a candidate for Minister of the Word at Synod 2023.
Considering the system by which the Christian Reformed Church in North America collects pooled money to fund shared ministry, Synod 2023 asked for some changes and continued review.