At the 2016 Synodical Service of Prayer and Praise, Rev. John Rottman preached on Ephesians 4, focusing on Paul’s admonition to “make every effort to keep the unity in the bond of peace” in the face of cultural pressures regarding sexuality. Synod is the annual general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church.
The culture “rages against the church’s teaching,” Rottmann said. “There is the danger of shipwreck, which could eventually split a church.”
Paul spoke to churches “in danger of being tossed by every wind of teaching,” he added. “Paul points to the deep reality of their life with God. As it faces the storm, the church turns to God and confesses its faith. It stands with the whole church through the ages.”
With synod delegates facing a week that may include stormy debate on the topic of same-sex marriage, he said, “As our part of the church faces storms of the present day, God’s Spirit animates and guides us as we speak the truth to each other in love with the power of the Spirit and the bond of peace.” With such an anchor, he added, “How can we possibly go wrong?”
The service, hosted by North Hills CRC in Troy, Mich., featured Rev. Randall Engle on the organ, the Oakland University Brass, and the Calvin College Alumni Choir.
Engle, who is also the pastor of North Hills, prayed, “As one now, together in worship, may we see your glory. Reveal in us again that our story is not a story of us holding on to you, but . . . of a faithful Savior who always holds on to us.”
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.