In its opening session on Friday, June 8, Synod 2012 elected an executive with 23 years of synod experience, though only two members had previous experience holding office. Synod is the annual leadership meeting of the Christian Reformed Church.
(L-r): Officers of Synod 2012: Thea Leunk, Leslie Kuiper, Bruce Persenaire, and Martin Bosveld.Photo: Karen Huttenga
Rev. Leslie Kuiper was elected as president of Synod 2012. Kuiper just recently retired as a pastor in Oostburg, Wisc., and will now be a pastor for churches in transition. This is his eighth synod and he served as first clerk in 2008.
Rev. Bruce Persenaire, a pastor in Escalon, Calif., was elected vice president. This is his 11th synod.
Rev. Thea Leunk was elected first clerk. She is a pastor in Grand Rapids, Mich. This is her fourth synod. She attended her first two synods as a female advisor, and was a delegate in 2008. She also served as vice president of synod that year.
Second clerk this year is Martin Bosveld, an elder from Chatham, Ontario. This is his fifth synod.
Kuiper addressed synod briefly. “We come with a variety of spiritual gifts and insights, but all as members of the church of Jesus Christ,” he said. “I look forward to serving Jesus Christ with you in this coming week. I trust his Spirit will be obvious in our decisions and the manner in which we reach them.
Afterward, Kuiper told The Bannerthat he came to synod prepared to serve, but admitted to being a little nervous. “I trust God will give me strength. Synod is something we all do together.”
He predicted that the most challenging issue facing synod this year is going to be whether or not to adopt the Belhar Confessionas a confession of the Christian Reformed Church. “I hope we make a good decision that will bring the church together rather than divide it.”
Before the officer elections, synod opened with worship led by Rev. Jeff Klingenberg. He is pastor of Ancaster Christian Reformed Church, the host church of Synod 2012.
Chief Bryan LaForme brought greetings from the nearby New Credit First Nation and Dr. Hubert Krygsman, president of Redeemer University Collegewelcomed delegates to its beautiful Ancaster campus.