Council of Delegates’ Authority Comes from Synod

Photo: Karen Huttenga for The Banner
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“We are you and you are us,” Paul De Vries, chair of the brand-new Council of Delegates, told synod delegates. “We have no authority other than the authority you give us.”

The Council first met in fall 2017, so this was its first time reporting to synod.

De Vries emphasized throughout his address that the new Council of Delegates (COD) is on the side of every person in the Christian Reformed Church.

The Council includes 52 delegates representing each classis (regional group of churches) in the denomination along with at-large delegates. As the CRC’s new governing body, the council replaced the Board of Trustees last summer.

“The important distinction is that ultimately the authority resides with you,” DeVries said. “We follow your instruction. When we don’t, call us.”

The COD meets three times a year, but doesn’t make final decisions, DeVries explained. All of its recommendations must be approved by synod. “We are brand new, less than a year old. We really don’t know what we’re doing yet. . . . In this time of vast, quick change, we need you to be for us, because we are for you,” he said.

About the Author

Roxanne VanFarowe is a freelance writer who lives in the woods with her artist husband James and their five children in Hillsborough, North Carolina. They are members of Blacknall Presbyterian Church in Durham.