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Thirty intercessors—Christian Reformed members committed to patient, listening, confidential prayer—are assisting at Synod 2024, seated in the chapel at Calvin University while in session and “roaming” campus open to praying as God directs them, said Jodi Gillmore, a prayer coordinator with Classis Holland volunteering her time to care for the intercessory team this week.

Synod is the annual general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. It is meeting June 14-20 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Gillmore was an elder delegate at Synod 2023, so she knows the value of carving space for prayer.

“It was important to me that the people coming (to pray) have gifts of knowledge, wisdom, and even prophecy—to be able to hear from God and speak that—and to be indifferent in their prayers,” Gillmore said. “It’s easy to pray with an agenda, but that’s not what we’re doing. We are praying God’s will be done. We need people who are taking the time and the space so they can hear God. As a delegate, there is not always space for that.”

Gillmore said she recruited volunteers by contacting other classes with prayer coordinators, from people who registered for pre-synod prayer, and from connections through other prayer ministries. People from 13 classes are involved.

There are those from outside the CRC planning to come to campus on two different days to lift up the CRC synod in prayer too.

“We can be so focused on what is happening inside the denomination that we lose sight that we’re just one piece of the whole church, so I’m so excited that there are those from other parts of the church willing to stand in the gap for us,” Gillmore said.

A weekly intercessory group of pastors and ministry personnel in Holland, Mich., that has dubbed themselves “‘Team Jesus,’ because we drop our church names at the door,” is moving their Wednesday gathering to Grand Rapids this week, Gillmore said. The group regularly prays for “renewal and revival in West Michigan and for healthy church culture,” Gillmore said. “They would love to see a healthy and thriving CRC because it contributes to healthy culture overall.”

Eileen Christofferson, an intercessor from Classis Rocky Mountain, is one who came outside of Gillmore’s recruits but has readily joined the prayer culture of synod cultivated by Gillmore and CRC prayer shepherd Jon Hoekema.

Christofferson’s classis funded her trip to synod from Boulder, Colo., in addition to the four delegates it sent, repeating an action it took 30 years ago.

“I had been praying for my council and classis,” Christofferson said, and “built rapport and a good reputation as a woman of prayer. … When there got to be so much trouble at synod,” she asked to be sent as an intercessor in 1994.

At that time the disputes plaguing synod were over women serving in church office. “This year I felt called to go again,” Christofferson said. “I see the denomination really struggling with wisdom and knowing the right thing to do.”

Christofferson arrived with the rest of the prayer team June 11, a couple of days before most delegates arrived. Throughout the days when advisory committees were meeting, she said she would join the plenary session worship at 8 a.m. and then work with other intercessors about where to go and pray. “There’ve been a couple of committees with teary-eyed people,” Christofferson said. She said she would sit outside, near where those committees were meeting, “and just pray—to bless them and that they would come to a conclusion that is pleasing to God.”

While delegates are on breaks on campus, Christofferson said, “I try to be as high profile as possible—ask people how they are doing—so if anyone needs anything, they’ll ask.”

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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