Synod 2006 approved 34 candidates for the ministry of the Word. They are now eligible for ministry in the Christian Reformed Church.
For the first time candidates were presented to synod not by the president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Rev. Cornelius Plantinga Jr., but by the chair of the newly formed Synodical Ministerial Candidacy Committee, Rev. Thea Leunk.
“We present these candidates for ministry in the Christian Reformed Church no longer as Canadian or U.S. citizens, no longer as first- or second-career students, male or female,” she said. “They are one in their baptism, one in the Spirit, one in their hope, and one in their calling to serve the kingdom of God as ministers of the Word in the CRCNA.”
Rev. Dan Gritter of Classis Grand Rapids South, father of candidate Nathan Gritter, urged the candidates to preach the gospel of grace. “Our world is so broken and in need of salvation through Jesus Christ,” he said.
Rev. Jim Dekker of Classis Niagara broke the solemnity by recalling that many years ago he baby-sat and changed the diapers of candidate Joel Renkema. And woman adviser Karen De Mol said she was overwhelmed by joy as she reflected on God’s faithfulness to all generations. “As I see you before me, I rejoice to think that you may someday minister to my children and grandchildren.”