Synod 2022 took action on three items related to the Christian Reformed Church’s ongoing relationship with the Reformed Church in America and with churches that used to be part of the RCA. Synod is the annual general assembly of the CRC. It is meeting June 10-16 in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Regarding commissioned pastors who serve dually affiliated congregations, Synod 2022 decided it needs a review of implications of church plants connected to both denominations. Unlike ministers of the Word who serve dually affiliated congregations, commissioned pastors are not recognized at classis meetings of both denominations but rather only the classis of the denomination that appointed them.
Classis Arizona asked synod to facilitate a process so that commissioned pastors from the RCA who serve a collaborative church plant would have the same privileges at a CRC classis as CRC-ordained pastors. Synod instead asked the Council of Delegates—the board that serves the church in between meetings of synod—to “review the implications of the church planting activities in Classis Arizona and recommend any needed Church Order changes to help church plants find expression in both denominations (RCA/CRC).”
Anthony DeKorte, from Classis Arizona, seemed disappointed with the delay, saying, “So commissioned pastors in Classis Arizona just have to wait until the COD completes its review? Thank you.”
Related: Community-based Congregation in Arizona Growing Through RCA-CRC Collaboration (Feb. 5, 2021)
Secondly, Synod 2022 received for information a communication from Classis B.C. North-West (deferred from 2020), which noted that several RCA and CRC pastors in British Columbia had been in conversation to imagine a way forward through the difficult issues of human sexuality “that might result in an orderly realignment of churches and/or classes within the two denominations.”
“Believing that we are at a kind of ‘impasse’ between those who adopt a traditional reading and those who adopt a revisionist reading of Scripture, might there be a way forward that would bring an end to the impasse and allow for each ‘side’ to move forward in their mission without the need for ongoing, fractious debate?” the communication asked.
Finally, considering a relationship with a newly formed denomination that came out of the RCA, Synod 2022 chose to recognize Kingdom Network, USA as a “church in dialogue.” The Kingdom Network launched in September 2021. Two of its five founding churches were dually-affiliated CRC-RCA congregations. Synod 2022 chose “by way of exception” that while designated “in dialogue,” a church with previous dual-affiliation may maintain its affiliation with the CRC.”
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.