Synod 2006: First Toronto Resolution a ‘Picture of Grace’

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Synod 2006 affirmed the acknowledgement by First Christian Reformed Church, Toronto , of the CRC’s official guidelines regarding homosexuality and the congregation’s intent to implement those guidelines in their ministry.

Rev. William Koopmans, reporter of the committee sent by Synod 2005 to meet with First CRC and Classis Toronto, reported to synod that First CRC apologized for its earlier actions. In 2002 the congregation announced its intention to allow gay and lesbian members living in committed relationships to be nominated as officebearers, an action which contradicts the denomination’s position on homosexuality. The congregation has since agreed to bring its ministry in line with the denomination’s guidelines.

“They have indicated that their continued life in the CRC is precious to them,” said Koopmans. “We have to proceed with mutual respect.”

Some delegates expressed doubt as to the sincerity of First CRC’s commitment to follow the rules of the CRC because of the way that the congregation acted initially.

“Only Toronto First can prove [sincerity] for themselves,” said Koopmans.

Rev. Peter Byma, Classis Northern Michigan, countered such suspicions, saying he “really liked this report because it was a picture of grace and forgiveness.”

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