In a service that emphasized humility and calling, Synod 2023 welcomed the latest group of candidates for ministry in the Christian Reformed Church. Fourteen of the 30 candidates for ministry were able to attend in person, while the other 16 participated via livestream.
Susan LaClear, director of Candidacy, encouraged the candidates to consider their work to be a vocation rather than just a job to be done. She introduced a litany based on Philippians 3:4-15.
The candidates read these words as part of the litany: “Lord, give us grace that we too may consider all that we’ve gained in this life as loss compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ, our Lord. And whenever we are tempted to place our identity in achievements, status or righteous works—please draw us back to resting in your grace alone.”
Seminary president Jul Medenblik addressed the candidates. “Today is a day that marks your transition in this doorway moment between school and church. This is a church that loves you, that desires to pray for you and also encourages you to the ‘doorway ministry’ of Jesus Christ.”
“Now you are here in this doorway moment,” he continued. “We desire to bless you in this time of transition. In this doorway, we say, ‘Be careful out there!’ And of course, ‘We love you!’”
After Medenblik’s address, Synod sang a song based on the Lord’s Prayer called “Your Will Be Done.”
“Your will be done, my God and Father, as in Heaven, so on Earth. My heart is drawn to self-exalting. Help me seek your kingdom first,” were the words of the first verse.
Synod delegates along with present family and friends gathered around each candidate in the room to pray a closing blessing over them.
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.