Synod 2015 opened this morning with worship led by Rev. Mark Verbruggen and others from First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Center, Iowa, host church of this year’s synod.
Preaching on Acts 20:17-39, Verbruggen told delegates, “We come together as one small part of God’s worldwide church. For some the work of synod is very exciting. For some it may be overwhelming. We all have our own interests and passions and see the church from our own unique perspective. [Conversations with those] with a different view from us can be disconcerting. Synod is the great equalizer as we come face to face with brothers and sisters in Christ. Over all our differences . . . is the one Word, the one truth, the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is our unity.”
Verbruggen noted that the words in Acts 20 are Paul’s farewell address, speaking to the leaders of the church. He said that God is speaking these words through Paul to those here. “This is a declaration that you and I are commended to the care of God, right here, right now, . . . so that God through his Word is able to build us up. Why? So that we might have an inheritance among all who are sanctified.”
Verbruggen said that this inheritance is speaking to our place in the kingdom of God that has come in Jesus Christ. “We are called to be part of this great endeavor. Our work this week is just a small part of that adventure.”
Worship was also led by organist Bradley Miedema (organist), Janna Wesselius (worship leader), and Lisa Miedema (violinist).
Delegates will soon elect officers. Following that, delegates will spend the rest of the day in their advisory committees.
Synod 2015 is meeting at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, from June 12-18. For continuous Banner coverage, please follow The Banner Magazine on Facebook or @crcbanner on Twitter. You can find more tweeting by following hashtag #crcsynod. News stories will be posted at thebanner.org several times daily. For CRC Communications releases, webcast, and live blogging, please visit crcna.org. Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.