Two overtures (requests) from Classis Minnkota and Classis Atlantic Northeast (regional groups of churches) were ruled out of order by the officers of Synod 2015 (the annual general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church.)
The two groups had asked that the CRC return to a more arm’s length relationship with the Protestant Church in the Netherlands after last year’s synod chose to move into full ecclesiastical fellowship with that denomination. For years the CRC had distanced itself from the Dutch church because of serious doctrinal differences, including the fact that some PCN churches ordain people who are practicing homosexuals. Full ecclesiastical fellowship is the closest level of ecumenical relationships between denominations.
The officers said there were no new, compelling grounds presented to warrant having a new discussion this year. The two classes contended that last year’s proposal to move into close ecclesiastical fellowship had come from the denomination’s Ecumenical and Interfaith Relationships Committee (EIRC), too late for the churches to discuss it.
The officers of Synod 2015 noted that the EIRC is a standing committee of synod and may bring forward recommendations in the supplement to the synod Agenda, which is what it did last year.
Delegates will spend the rest of today in advisory committee meetings and return to full plenary session this evening to hear a report from the Board of Trustees and Executive Director Dr. Steven Timmermans’s state-of-the-church address. They will also discuss a proposed new ministry plan.
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.