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After 30 years of denominational debate, 26 women made history at Synod 2008 as the first-ever female delegates to synod. As the women took their seats when synod convened the first morning, many people acknowledged the momentous occasion.

Elder Sarah Cook, Classis Eastern Canada, said she felt welcomed at synod. “I feel I belong, that there’s room at the table for us,” she said. “Most seem genuinely glad that there are women at synod.”

Elder Carol Rottman, Classis Grand Rapids East, was also delighted to be there. “I’m so glad it happened before I was too old to attend. Praise the Lord!” she said. “This is a biggie. It’s symbolic to a lot of young women that they’re part of this church.”

Women young and old who weren’t delegates also came to Synod 2008 to see history being made.

“It was an exciting morning, a dream come true,” said Sylvia Hugen, 73, from Grand Rapids, Mich. “I remember years ago when women took over the delegates’ seats during lunch and sang. Now we saw the real thing.”

Margaret Kromminga, 15, of Grand Rapids, also attended, “to support the women who are up there and to witness history.”

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