Risimati Hobyane and Henk Stoker traveled from Potchefstroom to bring greetings to Synod 2017 from Reformed Churches of South Africa (GKSA).
“We appreciate this invitation because it reflects more than any other thing our ecumenical unity and fraternal fellowship over many years,” said Hobyane. “The most important reason for our presence is our firm commitment to our mutual confession of the unity of the church of Christ.”
He said that in the two synods since they last had a representative at a Christian Reformed Church synod (2012), his denomination has struggled over the role of women in ecclesiastical office, coming to the decision that they understand Scripture to only allow suitable men to the offices of elders and pastors. The synods also dealt with what they call the turn-around strategy to address their membership decline.
Hobyane also told delegates that his church is interested in the discussion about the Belhar Confession. “We were very clear on it in 2012,” he said, referring to his church’s caution against the CRC adopting it.
“Although we are divided by deep seas and huge waves,” Hobyane said, “We are one in Christ.”
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.