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Synod 2011 is the first “paperless” synod. Synod’s Agenda is printed as a book the same way it has been for the Christian Reformed Church’s entire history. But the reams of paper usually produced at synod are no more.

Shirley De Vries, the denomination's IT director (right), helps a delegate figure it out.

Karen Huttenga

A new business system means voting forms, advisory committee reports, and all other documents are now on a website, and synod delegates were issued laptops to access all items.

Delegates had their first taste of the new system during voting for officers. Overall the system operated smoothly. However, in a test vote, more votes were cast than there were delegates. Rev. David Beelen, pastor of Madison Square CRC, Synod 2011’s convening church, served as president pro tem, presiding over the votes. “Some of you are already gaming the system, voting twice,” he commented. An unnamed delegate called out, “This is not Chicago!”

The Information Technology department of the CRC had plenty of help on hand for anyone needing assistance.

The new business system was produced over the past year and a half in cooperation with the Reformed Church in America. That denomination’s synod will convene right after the CRC’s synod and use the same system.

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