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Young Adult Representatives Invested in the Direction of the Denomination

Synod 2024 Young Adult Representatives Lain Martinez Vasquez, Ireland Bosworth, Verity Johnston, Eric Katerberg, Iain Monroe, and Gavin Schaefer (not pictured: Samantha Sebastia).
Steven Herppich

The seven young adult representatives to the Christian Reformed Church in North America Synod 2024 say they came to learn. However, they are also engaged in and interested in the direction of the denomination.

Synod has welcomed young adult representatives (18- to 26-year-olds), nominated by church council clerks and pastors and appointed by the Council of Delegates, since 2009. Three of this years’ young adult representatives also attended Synod 2023—Samantha Sebastia and Gavin Schaefer as young adult representatives and Lain Martinez Vasquez as an observer. Iain Monroe, Verity Johnston, Eric Katerberg, and Ireland Bosworth, are attending synod for the first time.

Schaefer, who is pursuing a vocation as minister of the Word, came because he wants to “help other young adults fit in with the main hub of our denomination and help them understand what has been going on.”

Martinez Vasquez, who asked to sing during the Monday-evening discussion of gravamina, said she hoped attending synod “would help me learn more about and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the CRC as a whole.” Martinez Vasquez also sent a communication to synod expressing concern “about how the CRCNA has made its recent decisions regarding human sexuality and their impact” on those in the denomination who, like Martinez Vasquez, are part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Monroe, from Sioux Center, Iowa, is attending alongside his father, Kurt Monroe, a minister delegate. He said he “felt it my duty to serve the denomination and the Lord by bringing an orthodox biblical voice to a synod which has been increasingly dominated by the zeitgeist of worldly religion.”

Sebastia is originally from Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, and has called Katy, Texas, home for almost 10 years. At Tuesday's banquet featuring the CRC's Consejo Latino, Sebastia was invited to speak by Jose Rayas, who called her part of the next generation of Latino leadership. Sebastia preaches at her church’s Thursday services and youth events and also creates Spanish-language Christian content on TikTok and Instagram.

“I feel the passion God has placed in my heart, the wisdom and the Holy Spirit’s guidance in me,” said Sebastia.

Many of the representatives spoke positively about their experience at synod.

“It has been helpful to understand more of the context and processes” of the denomination, Johnston said, “and to have the opportunity to hear the thoughts and heart behind each person's perspective.”

“As a young adult representative, we have been welcomed into the discussions, and it has really felt like our voices have been heard,” said Katerberg, who attends Palmerston (Ont.) CRC.

To those who might be interested in serving as a young adult representative, Bosworth, who attends Tacoma (Wash.) Christian Reformed Community Church in Washington,says, “being part of synod is very serious. These are big decisions that will ultimately impact every congregation.” However, she encourages those who feel called, and are selected, to go.

“God will use you in ways you never considered,” Bosworth. “Also, your voice very much matters, so don't be afraid to express your opinions.”

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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