Ethnic Advisers: ‘We Know It’s Not Easy’

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Ethnic advisers for Synod 2013 (l-r): Susie Silversmith, Rev. John (Harold) Caicedo, Bev De Vries, and Rev. Jimmy Han.

In a synod first, ethnic advisers were invited to speak to delegates about their experience at the assembly.

Rev. Jimmy Han did so enthusiastically today, thanking Synod 2013 for giving him and three other advisers “a place at the table.”

“Your intentional efforts to bring diversity to synod are really appreciated,” Han said. “We know that it’s not easy. It requires us to leave our comfort zones, listen more carefully, and extend our love to those who we don’t know but [who] belong to same family.”

Ethnic advisers speak for ethnic minorities who are not adequately represented among synod delegates. They may not vote but frequently weigh in on discussions. Between two and seven are appointed, depending on the number of minority delegates.

Besides Han, this year’s advisers were John Caicedo, Beverly DeVries, and Sue Silversmith.

Han said he hopes all CRC members invite diverse people into their churches and homes—and that eventually ethnic advisers won’t be needed.

“We hope what we did at synod we would all be able to do one day,” Han said.

Synod president William Koopmans thanked the advisers for their work.

“We say to you deeply and emphatically, your presence here is not symbolic,” Koopmans said. “Your presence here is essential to who we are representing the body of Christ.”


Synod 2013 is meeting at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. from June 7-14. For continuous Banner coverage of Synod 2013, please follow The Banner on Facebook or @crcbanner on Twitter. You can find more tweeting by following hashtag #crcsynod. News stories will be posted at several times daily. For CRC Communications releases, webcast, and live blogging, please visit Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.

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.