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This year for the first time, delegates to Synod 2014 had the opportunity to attend workshops on a variety of ministry topics, such as ministry to people at the margins, the shape of theological education in the 21st century, the value of biblical advocacy, discipling through transitions, and many more.

Rev. Andrew Beunk, Classis British Columbia Northwest, attended a workshop on ecumenicity. “It was very encouraging, eye-opening,” he said. “It broadened my sense of current ecumenical activity. If this kind of ecumenicity is happening with denominational leaders, what a model for local churches!”

Dave Vander Goot of Classis Muskegon attended a workshop about churches being prepared for disaster. “I like it,” he said. “We’re a long way from what we should have in place so I’m bringing this back home to talk about with the elders.”

Deacon advisor Trena Boonstra attended a workshop on Muslim/Christian relations and found it “exceedingly interesting.”

Boonstra said she would have perhaps liked some time on Sunday that was undirected but attended the workshop because it sounded interesting. Beunk and Vander Goot both thought adding the workshops was a great idea. “The hard part was picking which one,” said Beunk, “but they should be a regular part of synod.” Vander Goot agreed, noting that the workshops touched on topics not likely to be otherwise talked about at synod.

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 several times daily. For CRC Communications releases, webcast, and live blogging, please visit Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.


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