In anticipation of joint meetings planned for 2018, Synod 2017, the general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC), explored three alternatives for the future of the partnership between the denomination and the Reformed Church in America (RCA).
In 2014, the two denominations adopted what has come to be known as the Pella Accord, agreeing that “the RCA and CRC should act together in all matters except those in which deep differences of conviction compel them to act separately.” The partnership has led to several collaborative efforts, including the Reformed Benefits Association, which manages employee benefits for both denominations. The question for Synod 2018, at which the RCA and the CRC will meet jointly, is how to extend this partnership.
After a brief address to the synod by Kayla Fik, fraternal delegate of the RCA, three alternatives to extend the partnership were presented through the use of a video: increased coordination, in which the two denominations would work together where possible; increased collaboration, in which the denominations would build new ministries and programs together; or new creation, in which the denominations would create a new denomination together.
The delegates were asked to discuss these alternatives among the members of their regional delegation. The results were collected and will become information for the 2018 discussion and decisions.
Synod 2017 is meeting at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill., from June 9-15. For continuous coverage while synod is in session, 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.
About the Author
Clayton Libolt was the long time pastor of River Terrace Church in East Lansing, Mich. Since his retirement, he has served in a variety of interim positions. He is presently serving as the interim senior pastor of Sonlight Community CRC in Lynden, Wash.