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Synod 2022 Worship Highlights Surrender

Synod 2022 Worship Highlights Surrender
The communion liturgy was led by Elaine May, women’s leadership developer in the office of Pastor Church Resources.
Photo by Bryan Haley

On the eve of the time when synods (the general assemblies of the Christian Reformed Church) begin to make decisions, they pause to worship. Synod 2022 is no exception. Late Sunday afternoon, the delegates of this year’s assembly, along with denominational staff and others from the community, gathered in the Calvin University chapel to praise God and reflect on their task.

Synod 2022’s host church, Encounter Christian Reformed Church from the Grand Rapids, Mich., area, brought their worship musicians and upbeat style to the service. They led the delegates in a service of praise, highlighting an Elevation Worship song, “Same God.” 

Encounter pastor Dirk vanEyk focused his message on surrender to God. He began with his own experience of learning from his father how to ride a bicycle. Part of the secret of learning to ride a bicycle is to surrender the desire to be in control and to trust that the bicycle will stay upright. It’s this lesson, vanEyk said, that we must absorb into our spiritual lives.

He based his message on the Matthew version of the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13), which was read and prayed in Spanish and English by Jose Rayas, the president of synod. VanEyk said that in this prayer Jesus not only taught the church to pray but how to live the Christian life. The prayer teaches us, he said, to pray for the kingdom and will of God to be done, not for what we want—what he called ‘gimme prayers.’ 

“We learn,” vanEyk said, “to stop resisting, stop insisting. The purpose of prayer,” he added, “is to surrender my will, not to impose it.”

As has become the practice at synods, the worship service ended with the Lord’s Supper. The communion liturgy was led by Elaine May, women’s leadership developer in the office of Pastor Church Resources. The congregation filing forward to receive the sacrament—a company comprising a host of races and ethnic groups, both women and men—made a powerful visual symbol of the church of Jesus Christ, a church of every people and nation.

Synod 2022 is meeting at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Mich., from June 10-16. Find daily coverage from The Banner news team at, download the Banner app on your mobile device, or follow The Banner Magazine on Facebook. On Twitter follow #crcsynod or 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

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