Synod Proposes Relaxed Rules for Who May Be Delegates

Synod Proposes Relaxed Rules for Who May Be Delegates
John Lee, Classis Iakota: We want to hear a diversity of voices at synod.
Photo by Steven Herppich
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Synod 2022 took steps it hopes will help future synods to have a full slate of delegates from every classis. Synod is the general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church that gathers each year, inviting regional groups of churches to send representative officebearers.

Since 2015, delegations from each classis are to include a minister, an elder, a deacon, and a fourth delegate from any of the offices. Since that change, some classes have struggled to send a full delegation—particularly a deacon delegate. 

Synod 2022 received two requests (overtures) to address this issue. Classis Chicago South asked synod to propose a revision to the Church Order to give classes more flexibility in order to be able to send four delegates. Classis Muskegon asked that synod simply reduce each classis delegation to three. 

Synod responded by proposing to add the word “ordinarily” to its requirements, allowing classes to send two types of officebearer. For example, if no willing deacon can be found, a classis could fill the slot with an elder. The revision will need to be approved by Synod 2023.

Synod declined to reduce delegations to three. Even though it would save money, “we want to hear a diversity of voices at synod,” said John Lee, Classis Iakota, who reported for the advisory committee. 

More Voices at Classis Too

In a separate decision, related to a request about who can be delegated to meetings of classis, synod formally opened the way for campus ministers to participate, welcoming classes to invite congregations to delegate a campus minister who is under its council’s care. This was in response to a request from Classis Huron.


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.

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