Rev. Perline Cooper, pastor at-large for the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar, a church in dialogue with the CRC, brought news of her church to Synod 2015 (the annual leadership meeting of the Christian Reformed Church). The church she represents is stunningly large and important in the African nation of Madagascar. It has more than six million members and six thousand churches. About 40 percent of the population of Madagascar is affiliated with the church.
The relationship of the Madagascar church with the CRC has been fostered by the extensive work in that country by World Renew. In addition, the president of the denomination studied at Calvin Theological Seminary. Cooper mentioned that the president is presently working toward reconciliation for the deep divisions in Madagascar that led to the violence of 2007-2008.
Lisa Vander Wal brought greetings from the Reformed Church in America (RCA). She mentioned with appreciation her own deep roots in the CRC. She talked about the many ways that the RCA and CRC work together, mentioning such ventures as World Renew, Kingdom Enterprise Zones, and church insurance programs, and her hope that these initiatives will grow more numerous and deeper.
She also spoke of her work with the World Communion of Reformed Churches, a worldwide council of Reformed Churches “called to communion and committed to justice.” Both the CRC and the RCA are members of that body.
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.