When Amy Vander Vliet and Paul De Weerd came to synod in 2010, they and five others were featured on the cover of The Banner.
That’s because VanderVliet and De Weerd were among the first “youth advisors,” now known as young adult representatives. Both also attended synod as “youth observers” in 2009.
These pioneers returned to synod this year: VanderVliet as a deacon delegate, and De Weerd as a minister delegate.
It was at Synod 2009 that De Weerd first felt a powerful call to ministry. “Being at that synod solidified my love of the church,” he said. “The prayerful care and consideration used for even the hardest of issues challenged my heart.” After that summer, he “ramped up” his classical studies minor and began to prepare for seminary.
Vander Vliet has become a deacon in her church and reported for her advisory committee this year.
Both De Weerd and VanderVliet are strong proponents of youth representation at synod—in fact, they wish the numbers of youth could increase.
“I’m encouraged to see that the [young adult representative] program continues,” said Vander Vliet. “I’m impressed that these young adults are being encouraged to speak up and that they are making a contribution at synod.”
Synod 2017 is meeting at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill., from June 9-15. For continuous coverage, download the Banner app on your mobile device or 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 and the webcast, please visit crcna.org. Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.