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Synod 2024 of the Christian Reformed Church in North America opened in an online session May 29 for just the second time in synod history. The agenda for the virtual convening was light: a roll call of delegates; greetings from the host church’s pastor, who presided over the meeting until the election of officers was completed; various announcements on procedure; and an introduction to synod’s worship theme, God With Us.

Synod is the annual general assembly of the CRCNA. It’s expected to reconvene in person June 14-20 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The denomination’s Council of Delegates recommended electing officers in an early online session to give synod more time to get directly to its agenda once delegates meet in person. Synod 2023 closed without completing its full agenda. In 2022, when the CRC synod had three years worth of agenda items after the COVID-19 pandemic, delegates also convened in one online session to elect officers.

Livestreamed, the May 29 session received 472 views on YouTube while it was live—higher than marketing and communications director Kristen Vanderberg expected for the opening session, which was marked by long periods of silence as delegates worked with unfamiliar technology and practiced using the online voting platform.

Besides electing the officers, delegates heard words of welcome from Steve DeVries, pastor of synod’s host congregation, Lee Street CRC, in Wyoming, Mich., and were led in a prayer of reverence, response, and readiness by CRC prayer shepherd Jon Hoekema.

Katie Roelofs, worship consultant with Thrive, introduced the worship theme, repeating in English, Spanish, and Korean the words “the Lord be with you,” as delegates echoed “and also with you.”

“We say these words to one another, and with one another we remember that we are not alone,” Roelofs said. “In every situation … in certainty and uncertainty … this theme is to reorient us to God who is with us,” Hoekema said. “In joy, in doubt, in mission, in the unknown … for all of life, into eternity.”

General secretary Zachary King drew attention to the role of spiritual discernment in governance, recounting that it was a passion of former synodical services director Scott DeVries. DeVries died April 27, after being diagnosed with cancer in March. King asked delegates to ponder a resource, “The Spiritual Aspects of Synod,” written by DeVries, as they prepare for the in-person meetings in a couple of weeks’ time.

Synod 2024 is meeting June 14-20 at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Mich. Find daily coverage from The Banner news team at Visit for the synod schedule, webcast, recordings, photos, committee reports, and liveblog. Synod is the annual general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church.

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