The Christian Reformed Synod, the general assembly of the denomination, paused in its work to share greetings electronically with the synod of the Reformed Church in America. Tom De Vries, general secretary of the RCA, and Steve Timmermans, executive director of the CRC, spoke by video link about the Pella Accord. That accord, made during the synods of both churches in 2014, binds both churches “to act together in all matters except those in which deep differences of conviction compel us to act separately.”
De Vries and Timmermans spoke of the work the CRC and RCA are doing together already and of their plans to do even more, including holding both synods at the same time at Calvin College in 2018.
The technology was less than perfect, but the friendship between De Vries and Timmermans—and increasingly between the CRC and the RCA—came through. The simulcast ended with a delegate from each synod praying for the other.
Following the simulcast, Rev. Lisa Vander Wal, a fraternal delegate from the RCA, brought greetings in person. She centered her remarks on the World Communion of Reformed Churches, an ecumenical organization to which both the CRC and RCA belong. The communion is planning a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation next year in Leipzig.
The theme of the Leipzig conference is “Living God: Renew and Transform Us,” which, Rev. Vander Wal said, is a prayer to the living God, a God who is still on the move. “We say as Calvinists,” she added, “that we want to be part of the transformation of the world, but we also need to be transformed and renewed.” In that, she said, there is much to study, much to pray, much to work for.
Synod 2016 is meeting at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., from June 10-17. 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/synod. Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.