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Because synod debates can be long, tense, and tiring, it’s important for synod’s president to inject some humor now and again to refresh delegates. It takes a quick mind and a ready wit. Rev. Joel Boot demonstrated both. Here are some outtakes:

Boot: “A set of keys were found in the dining hall. The owner can claim it in the synod office. The longer you wait to claim it, the less gas you may find in the tank.”

Acknowledging a delegate who wished to speak on a non-debatable motion: “Is this a point of order, or were you just waving at me?”

Asking follicly challenged Canadian Ministries Director Rev. Bruce Adema to respond to a question: “I can see the glare on the top of your head, Bruce; I know you’re here.”

Concerned that something might be wrong with the electronic speakers’ list because no names were registering requests to speak:

Boot: “You do all remember how to make discussion, right?”

Rev. Randy Blacketer, Classis Alberta North: “[The machine] says, ‘No more speakers at this time.’”

Boot: “Oh, you found out our secret.”

During a long, grueling debate:

Boot: “Henry, can you tell us what happens to a tabled motion if it is not picked up again?”

Rev. Henry DeMoor, Seminary Faculty Adviser:  “This motion will simply expire along with the rest of synod.”

Boot:  “And perhaps the chair.”

Rev. Daniel Sarkipato, Classis Kalamazoo, assigned the impossible Sergeant-at-Arms’ task of making delegates conclude coffee break and get back to work: “In my role I’ve been reflecting on the spelling difference between the words “omnipotent” and “impotent.”

Boot: “If it’s only spelling, you have nothing to worry about.”

Rev. Robert Arbogast, Classis Lake Erie: “Mr. Chairman, as reporter for the advisory committee, when can I speak?”

Boot: “Whenever you wish.”

Arbogast: “Oh, I like that!”

Boot:  “Let me clarify that: You can speak whenever you wish, but not on everything you wish!”

Elder John Kooiker, Classis Heartland, stood up several times as he struggled to clarify the reason for wishing to table a motion on the floor. He switched microphones as he stood up again.

Boot: “Yeah, try another mike, John; that might help.”

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