Seeking an “institutional pathway for young adult input” in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC), delegates today approved a new young adult summit, to be held every three years, overlapping with the dates and locations of synod.
Amy Vander Vliet: “We want to have a spot where we’re all together, connected to each other and connected to the church.”
Photo: Karen Huttenga
“We recognize we’re asking a lot, but we think we share your passion,” said Amy Vander Vliet, a member of the leadership team behind the summit and herself a two-time youth representative to synod. “We know we’re pretty transient. We want to have a spot where we’re all together, connected to each other and connected to the church.”
Delegates read in the summit proposal that structural barriers remain to young adult participation in the CRC. The summit is intended to establish a visible youth voice on issues important to the CRC, spark interest in church government among youths, provide mentoring to young leaders, and help churches show young adults “the relevance of involvement in an organized Christian community.”
“I speak in favor with my whole heart,” said Rev. Jeffery Klingenberg , Classis Hamilton. “[Young adults] want to be involved, and to be quite honest, they’re waiting for us to move over and let them be leaders.”
Speaking to Synod 2011’s youth representatives, synod president Rev. James Dekker said, “I hope that you all will continue to be, as one of you called himself, ‘synod geeks,’ in order to take part in not just the work of synod, but the work of Christ.”
The inaugural summit will take place in 2012 in Ancaster, Ontario, under the guidance of the Young Adult Leadership Team of the CRC’s Leadership Exchange.