Delegates of the synods of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) and the Reformed Church in America (RCA) came together on Friday night to celebrate the many ministries the two denominations do together.
Rev. Denise Posie led the group through some of the history of that new cooperation, highlighting the Pella Accord. In 2014, both synods met in Pella, Iowa, and joined together for worship and a session of celebrating growing unity.
At that synod both denominations adopted the Pella Accord, which states that “the principle that guides us, and the intention that motivates us, is to ‘act together in all matters except those in which deep differences of conviction compel [us] to act separately.’”
Delegates heard about the increasing work being done together: Disability Concerns ministry; Reformed Benefits Association; Reformed Leadership Initiative; Clinical Pastoral Education at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services; Faith Alive Christian Resources; World Renew; and social justice work.
Revs. Randy Weener and Kevin Schutte spoke of their work in church multiplication and Kingdom Enterprise Zones. “Our culture is shifting. No longer is the church at the center of every small town,” Schutte said. “In a world that is increasingly divided, the illustration of our churches working together is appealing and hopeful to the next generation.”
The evening ended with two videos documenting and celebrating the development of women’s leadership in the two denominations.
Most poignant was how the evening started, with a tribute to Rev. Ed Mulder, general secretary emeritus of the RCA, and Rev. Peter Borgdorff, executive director emeritus of the CRC. Mulder and Borgdorff both died in May.
The tribute was delivered by Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, recently retired as general secretary of the RCA who worked closely with both men and witnessed firsthand how both worked tirelessly for unity.
“How blest we are to have been served by these two humble giants of our faith,” Granberg-Michaelson said. “Both of our denominations have lost formative leaders. Both had a passion for unity.”
He noted that for Borgdorff, unity began close to home. Their discussions about how the two [churches] could come closer together led to Pella.
And that year’s accord is what led to the celebration at this event.
Synod 2018 is meeting at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., from June 7-14. 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.