Synod Was a Family Affair

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Synod 2012 doubled as a family reunion for five delegates. All have different last names, but all are part of the Baar family—three of them by marriage.

(L-r) Marv Goodyk, Dale Poel, Rich Sytsma, Larry Baar, and Tom Ackerman.
Photo: Karen Huttenga

Marv Goodyk was an elder delegate from Classis Central Plains; Dale Poel was an elder delegate from Classis Eastern Canada; Rich Sytsma represented Calvin Theological Seminary; Rev. Larry Baar came from Classis Northern Michigan; and Tom Ackerman served on the Creation Stewardship Task Force.

The cousins—two of whom hadn’t seen each other for 40 years—realized that there were five of them at synod together when they were at the Sunday evening hymn sing. “We’re a singing crowd in this family,” said Ackerman. The family also includes about 15 pastors, the cousins told The Banner.


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About the Author

Roxanne VanFarowe is a freelance writer who lives in the woods with her artist husband James and their five children in Hillsborough, North Carolina. They are members of Blacknall Presbyterian Church in Durham.