“Even Garrison Keillor would not dare to describe this as a quiet year in the [Christian Reformed Church],” said Rev. John Terpstra, the out-going president of the Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church told synod, referring to the popular radio personality.
Terpstra outlined the challenges that have faced the denomination in recent years: “A leader released from service. Followed by another, and then another. Tension and anxiety followed. ‘What’s going on?’ many wondered,” he said.
Terpstra spoke extensively of the Bible’s pattern of despair followed by a new resurrection of hope on the third day. “As I read the Agenda for Synod 2013 . . . I sense the powerful movement of the God of third-day hope. Of course he has been with us all along. . . . We know the One in whom our only comfort lies.”
Outlining the many organizational initiatives underway, he said, “I sense God is moving in and through the Christian Reformed Church, calling us to put our hope in him, the God of the third day. God is inviting us right now to face with new confidence the second-day challenges that have come before us in recent years.”
Terpstra also introduced Rev. Sheila Holmes, who will take his place as BOT president after synod concludes.
“Sheila and I first met five years ago,” he said. “Through our service together on the board, I have grown to appreciate her wisdom, her courage, her devotion, her life of prayer-filled service, and her deep passion for the overall work of the church and its desire to continue the journey toward a more diverse family of God. Sheila is my friend.”
Holmes is the first woman and the first person of color to be BOT president.
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 www.thebanner.org several times daily. For CRC Communications releases, webcast, and live blogging, please visit www.crcna.org/synod. Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.