Synod 2017 Urges Patience on Same-Sex Issues

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Synod 2017 chose not to follow up on a West Michigan church’s request for guidance on same-sex issues.

Ivanrest Christian Reformed Church in Grandville, Mich., made an overture (official request) to Synod 2017 to “provide the churches with guidance for providing pastoral care for same-sex attracted members and their families.”

But Synod 2017 stated that resources from past synodical reports, The Banner, and the Network are available to those who need them. Synod added that “the provision of same-sex pastoral care resources in the short term seems impractical” since Synod 2016 already mandated a study committee on the issue.

“We felt the weight of the concern over this contentious issue, but in the end we felt [this overture] was asking too much,” said Kenneth Benjamins, in addressing that request. “Ministering properly is what many churches are struggling with, but giving advice while this issue is still being studied would be awkward, and it’s hard to withdraw pastoral advice once given. . . . Please be patient while we wait for the study report.”

That report is scheduled for completion in 2021.

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 several times daily. For CRC Communications releases and the webcast, please visit Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.

About the Author

Roxanne Van Farowe is a freelance writer living in North Carolina. She has reported on synod, the annual decision-making gathering of the CRC, for many years.