Lending Their Voices to a Not-so-diverse Synod

Lending Their Voices to a Not-so-diverse Synod
Synod 2022’s ethnic advisors (from left): John Sideco, Darlene Silversmith, and Hyung Jun Kim.
Photo by Steven Herppich
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Hyung Jun Kim, John Sideco, and Darlene Silversmith are serving as ethnic advisers at Synod 2022. 

Both Sideco and Kim are at synod for the first time. “The best part of synod is to see everyone mingling,” said Sideco, who pastors a Filipino Christian Reformed Church in New Jersey. “For me that is precious, and I’m glad to be part of it.”

Sideco said he had hoped to see better ethnic representation at this synod, where only 18 of the 183 delegates are people of color. Recent synods have had less diversity, which necessitates ethnic advisers, according to synod rules.

Kim was impressed by the inner workings of synod. “I have all the more appreciation for how our church is governed,” said Kim, an associate pastor at a mostly Anglo congregation in Burnaby, B.C. “The delegates were so well-prepared and knowledgeable. It was a gift to watch, and I am encouraged for the future of the CRC.”

All three affirmed that their advisory committee consulted them during discussions and listened respectfully to their comments, though Silversmith said she was mostly quiet. Silversmith, who is Navajo, sometimes preaches at her home church, Crownpoint (N.M.) CRC, and she is a retired 911 operator.

Synod 2022 is meeting at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Mich., from June 10-16. Find daily coverage from The Banner news team at thebanner.org/synod, download the Banner app on your mobile device, or follow The Banner Magazine on Facebook. On Twitter follow #crcsynod or twitter.com/crcna. Synod is the annual general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church (it did not gather in 2020 or 2021). Connect to the meeting’s livestream, read advisory committee reports, and find other resources at crcna.org/synod

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.