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Synod Committed to Work ‘Within Confessional Positions’

Derek Buikema said delegates are “committed to doing our work within our confessional positions.”
Steven Herppich

During the Saturday morning session of Synod 2024, president Derek Buikema gave an update on the conversation he had with delegates who chose not to stand during the Public Declaration of Agreement with CRC Beliefs the previous day.

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

Buikema said the delegates “committed to doing our work within our confessional positions” and that it was an encouraging conversation. “I appreciate the willingness of the people who were willing to come talk to me.”

Addressing the room, he said, “We have committed ourselves to do our work in accordance with our confessions. If any one of us slips into disagreement with our confessions, we should call it out.”

“I recognize this is a time of a lot of weightiness and low trust,” Buikema said. “I’m going to try to press into conversations with the intention of doing this work with integrity together.”

Cory Nederveld, Classis Georgetown, asked Buikema to say more about the conversation.

Buikema clarified that the delegates have “worked through the gravamen process within our current way of operating the process” and “as of right now, there are specific rules about how we operate within the rules of the gravamen” and that these delegates are following those rules.

Gravamina are formal expressions of difficulty with a part of a Christian Reformed confession. Advisory Committee 9 is discussing overtures that concern the process of confessional-difficulty gravamen and will address synod with their recommendations later in the week. The committee’s work picks up from the work of a synodical committee in 2023, whose work was not fully discussed on the floor at synod.

Also on Saturday synod prayed for two delegates who became ill, one of whom returned home; accepted five items on a consent agenda (including changes to the Council of Delegates handbook and condensed financial statements); and adopted a list of special offerings to commend to the congregations from Resonate Global Mission, World Renew, Calvin Theological Seminary, Calvin University, Interim for Public Dialogue, Indigenous Ministries in Canada, ReFrame Ministries, and Thrive.

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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