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For Rev. John Medendorp and Ashley Bootsma, a match made in heaven started at Synod 2016, the annual general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church.

Medendorp was a delegate to last year’s synod held in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Bootsma was a young adult representative. “Knowing few others, I tagged along with my pastor at the time, Chris deWinter, and met some of his friends,” Bootsma said. DeWinter was also a delegate.

One of those friends was Medendorp, pastor of Community CRC in Kitchener, Ont. “We spent our evenings hanging out with friends and learning more about each other,” Bootsma said. After synod, they started texting each other. “While he was the first to reach out after synod, it was definitely me who asked him out.”

Four months later, they decided to marry, announcing it publicly in December. They are planning an August wedding.

“While neither of us was even remotely thinking of meeting a spouse at synod, God used synod to radically change our lives for the best,” Bootsma said.

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