Synod 2008 heard from the Faith Formation Committee, which Synod 2007 appointed to study the biblical teaching and current pastoral practices regarding participation in the Lord’s Supper, public profession of faith, and infant baptism.
The committee has an unprecedented mandate. This was the first of five consecutive synods to which they will report, and they will produce much more than just a document for the church.
Rev. John D. Witvliet, director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and chair of the committee, called the group a “study and communication committee,” tasked with a lot of listening, corresponding, and encouraging.
The committee had no recommendations for synod to vote on. Instead it asked synod for guidance on its plans. Delegates were asked to share their own churches’ approaches to youth and faith formation and to provide written feedback about the current patterns of sacramental practice in the CRC.
The committee has a website, www.crcna.org/faithformation, and by the end of the summer plans to build a network of 50 correspondents across the denomination to help formulate clear statements, guidelines, educational materials, and pastoral advice on intergenerational faith formation and the participation in the sacraments by children and youths.