Why Is Synod Spelled with a Y?

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Why is synod spelled with a Y? That was the question raised by a short video created by Sunrise Christian Reformed Church in Austin, Texas, which humorously chronicles the purpose of synod (the CRC’s annual leadership meeting) and some of the items on this year’s agenda.

The musical video was created as a submission to a young adult video contest held by the Leadership Exchange and was first posted on The Network.

Rev. Mark Hilbelink, minister of Sunrise CRC, wrote the lyrics, then looked to Sunrise Church’s Facebook friends for help. With the aid of some of his staff, the video was completed in about one day.

Once the video went online, within five days it had 1,200 views. “We were kind of expecting that it would be [viral]. I figured if we produced something even halfway good, it would probably catch on pretty quickly,” said Hilbelink.

The video garnered interest for synod even among Hilbelink’s staff. “The people that were doing it didn’t know anything about synod,” Hilbelink said. “They actually asked me ‘Can we be delegates to this thing too?’”

While Hilbelink’s video doesn’t answer the question of synod’s spelling, a user on The Network kindly offered an explanation: “Greek συνοδος, meaning ‘assembly’— The Greek letter upsilon (Υ, υ) is transliterated as a Y in English, as it is a direct ancestor from that Greek letter. Mystery solved.”

Hilbelink’s video won the contest and the $500 that accompanied it, which was the reason Hilbelink wrote the song in the first place. “We entered the contest because we need the $500 for our worship program. We wanted to purchase more equipment; we figured it was a good way for the leaders to raise money without begging the congregation for it,” he said.

About the Author

Sarah Boonstra is the Banner's regional news correspondent for classes Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone.

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