Seven women advisors were invited to Synod 2016: Linda Ryks, Melissa Van Dyk, Karen Knip, Emily Ulmer, Jenny Douma, Elaine VanLaare, and Sarah van Breda.
“We’ve been blessed just to be able to participate [in synod],” said Jenny Douma. “Everybody should get a chance to go. It shows you the broader perspective of what goes on in the church.”
The women agreed that serving in this way increased their appreciation for the church.
“It’s not that we change synod, synod changes us,” said Sarah Van Breda.
“I appreciate the fact that there was a desire to have gender parity. It’s a necessary thing because there is not equity represented at the table,” said Melissa Van Dyk. “There is some ambiguity about when we can speak and what we can say, but I do feel that [we] have a voice and can speak when we want to.”
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. Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.