Synod 2023 agreed that the Christian Reformed Church needs a statement on assisted suicide. It has tasked the general secretary to “promptly create” an interim statement, realizing he could not speak for synod. It also appointed a task force to make a comprehensive report.
Almost all the delegates were in agreement with that action.
Mark Quist, Classis Rocky Mountain, said, “I would love to have something official and clearer from the church,” especially as his state has already approved assisted suicide. “I need guidance,” Quist said.
“As a Canadian, this is our lived experience,” said Victor Laarman, Classis Huron. “It’s absolutely diabolical and we need a statement about it.”
Sonya Grypma, Classis BC South-East recommended to include as many Canadians as they can on the task force, because “What you’re talking about is already fully integrated into the Canadian health care system.”
Michael Abma, Classis Grand Rapids East, said, “It’s too simple to just make a short statement on something this complex, and I look forward to seeing some of the people in our denomination give us some guidance.”
Meanwhile, Eric Tisch, Classis Hamilton, expressed frustration at having to wait for a task force. "We've already formed our opinion," he said. "MAID (medical assistance in dying) should not be there." "I object to commissioning a task force when a statement will do. However, the general secretary has already mentioned they can't provide you with a statement. You have to wait for the report."
The Office of General Secretary will create an interim statement, and Synod 2023 will appoint a task force with eight members that will create a report over two years.
Synod 2023 is meeting June 9-15 at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Mich. Find daily coverage from The Banner news team at thebanner.org/synod. Visit crcna.org/synod for the synod schedule, webcast, recordings, photos, committee reports, and liveblog. Synod is the annual general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church.