CRC/RCA Synods Unite in Joint Opening Worship Service
The service marks the start of both the annual synod of the Christian Reformed Church and the general synod of the Reformed Church in America.
On Thursday evening, June 12, some 900 worshipers, consisting largely of delegates and staff of the synods (annual leadership meetings) of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) and the Reformed Church in America (RCA), joined in worship at Third Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa. The service began a week of joint meetings on the campus of Central College.
In his welcome, elder Paul Jones quipped, “Everyone has their own stories about CRC vs. RCA, but tonight we’re not going to open that can of worms.” Despite that sibling rivalry, he added, he is excited to see the Lord working in bringing us together as denominations. “How countercultural is it not to fight but to embrace?” We are to forget what separated us as we are “preoccupied with Jesus together.”
Rev. Denise Kingdom Grier of Maple Ave. Ministries, Holland, Mich., presented the message based on 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. Grier pointed out that “there is a famine in the land—not of lust, fake smiles, liturgies, books, or overtures, but a famine of love.” She presented this challenge: “Can the RCA and the CRC commit to [Christ’s] love this week?” Echoing St. Paul, Grier concluded, “When we get together, we share in the comfort of Christ and each other—so that we can comfort others also, to the glory of God.”
Rev. Ryan Faber, president pro tem of the CRC synod, and Rev. Carl Boersma, president of the general synod of the RCA, jointly led in the celebration of communion.
Synod 2014 is meeting at Central College in Pella, Iowa, from June 13-19. For continuous Banner coverage, 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.