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Synod 2018 of the Christian Reformed Church received 43 new candidates for the office of Minister of the Word, welcoming them Wednesday with words of encouragement and congratulation and a time of worship.

Twenty candidates stood as David Koll, director of candidacy, read all the names, noting that many of the 43 who were not present would be joining the proceedings through the live webcast. He asked synod to “receive these persons as gifts of God to the church.”

Assembled delegates, family, and friends stood to applaud and acknowledge the candidates. Koll noted and gave thanks for the many people—pastors, mentors, youth leaders, and others—who played roles in forming the faith of those marking this milestone.

Calvin seminary president Jul Medenblik gave an address. “We are here at this doorway to pray for you as we anticipate your moving out into the ministry that God is preparing for you,” he said.

“You now face the church and this body that represents and embodies the Christian Reformed Church in North America. This is a church that loves you, that desires to pray for you and also to challenge you to a long obedience in the same direction.”

Synod vice chair Elizabeth Vander Haagen closed the time by praying for the candidates as delegates laid hands on them, each standing with the classis that supported them.

Candidates, delegates, and gathered family and friends then enjoyed cake together in celebration.

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 several times daily. For CRC Communications releases and the webcast, please visit

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