The Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN) marked its first five years with a synodical meeting and the election of a new moderator, Peter Verhoeff. The church now governs itself with seven officers, elected for staggered terms so that there are always some experienced leaders in the group.
The PKN is the largest Protestant church in the Netherlands. It was formed from the union of three former churches: the Netherlands Reformed Church, the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. One of the groups that raised serious objections to the union, the Reformed Alliance (Gereformeerde Bond), pledged its continuing support for the united church. By the time of the union in 2004, the Alliance had agreed to be part of it. Writing in the body’s magazine, P. Vergunst offered a mostly positive assessment of the church’s course.
He noted that the immediate past moderator of the PKN, Gerrit de Fijter, is a member of the Alliance, and the Alliance offered its support to Verhoeff as well—noting that it was not opposed to the church, but only to errors within the church.
The three-day synod meeting approved a work-plan for the PKN for the next three years, a plan driven by its 2006 vision document, “Learning to Live in Wonder,” and commissioned a new vision document to be prepared by 2011. Delegates also debated at length a report on how pastors and staff relate to each other in different church models.
—REC News Exchange
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