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Baptized Children at the Lord’s Supper, Take Two

Synod 2006 said that baptized children are part of God’s family and should be invited to partake in the Lord’s Supper with the rest of the congregation.

Currently, Christian Reformed Church practice requires that baptized children first make a formal profession of faith before participating in communion.

A change of the magnitude called for by Synod 2006 requires that a subsequent synod adopt the proposal, and Synod 2007 was not of a mind to do that.

Instead, Synod 2007 appointed a Faith Formation Committee to study a number of issues over five years, including participation of baptized children at the Lord’s Supper and the role of public profession of faith.

This committee was instructed to communicate extensively with Christian Reformed congregations and report on its progress to each subsequent synod.

This year, the Faith Formation committee isn’t bringing a formal recommendation to open up the Lord’s Supper to baptized children, but it is asking Synod 2010 to approve what it calls a “guiding principle,” from which will flow formal recommendations for Synods 2011 and 2012.

That guiding principle states, “All baptized members are welcome to the Lord’s Supper for age- and ability-appropriate obedience to biblical commands about participation, under the supervision of the elders.”

The proposed guiding principle also includes the following: “Requiring a formal public profession of faith prior to participation in the Lord’s Supper is one pastoral approach to consider, but is not required by Scripture or the confessions.”

The committee says in its report that this principle honors the covenant status of all baptized members and is faithful to the instruction in 1 Corinthians 11 and to Q&A 81 of the Heidelberg Catechism.

The report states that “much of the committee’s work in the coming year will be formed by the response of Synod 2010” to that guiding principle.

Should synod approve the guiding principle, the Faith Formation committee will then come to Synod 2011 with formal recommendations that would adopt the change envisioned by Synod 2006.

About the Author

Gayla Postma is news editor for The Banner.

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