Koopmans’ Comebacks: Humourous Exchanges at Synod

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Synod debates can be long and intense, so it’s important for synod’s president to occasionally inject some humor and break the tension. It takes an agile mind and a quick wit, and Rev. William Koopmans showed he has both. Here are some outtakes:

Koopmans: “Synod got off to a great start when you elected Road Runner [during the warm-up practice vote]. Things may slow down after that.”

*****

Rev. Richard deLange, Classis Chatham: “If I’m incorrect, I suppose Dr. [Henry] De Moor [of Calvin Seminary] will let me know.”

Koopmans: “Even if you’re correct, Dr. De Moor will let you know.”

*****

On the final day of synod, when Executive Director Rev. Jerry Dykstra was asked to respond further to some touchy questions:

Koopmans: “When would you like to give your report, Jerry?”

Dykstra: “I was thinking about next Tuesday.”

Koopmans: “Um . . . uh . . .”

Dykstra: “Actually, Mr. President, I was thinking around coffee time.”

Koopmans: “You mean when the delegates are all gone drinking coffee?”

*****

Koopmans’ irrefutable logic while defending delegates who wanted their negative vote recorded on a key motion: “How can it not sound negative when it’s a negative vote?

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Rev. Bruce Persenaire, Classis Central California, comparing the ministry-share system to the internal combustion engine:

“Its days are numbered, but now is not the time to replace it.”

Koopmans: “This is a combustible motion. . . . I hope it won’t come back to burn us.”

*****

By Thursday Koopmans knew the delegates better than they might like: “Seven names on the speaker list . . . I look at those names and can speculate how long each one is going to speak!”

*****

Koopmans to a delegate: “Yes, you have the right to speak on the ‘Sermons for Reading Services Committee Report,’ as long as it’s not a whole sermon.”

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When three motions came and went without a single speaker, Koopmans noticed that the electronic speaker list had failed: “The system isn’t working; no wonder things were going so well.”

*****

After an assertion that only friendly amendments may be entertained:

Koopmans: “You’re bound and determined to get at least one amendment passed.”

Rev. Martin Mobach, Classis Alberta North: “I just want to appear friendly.”

*****

Koopmans, when delegates complimented the Belhar Confession while having their negative votes recorded in the minutes:

“I can’t remember being at a synod where so many negative votes were written so positively.”

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About the Author

Bob De Moor is a retired Christian Reformed pastor living in Edmonton, Alta.

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