Synod–initial impressions


Three of Granite Springs leaders are attending our annual synod this week.  Read about Doug’s experience here…

As we gathered for worship this morning, my heart was moved by the privilege to participate in a body that has governed the church for over 150 years.  Synods of the Christian Reformed Church have gathered since 1857 to lead, steward, and make decisions on behalf churches all over North America.  These people that I sit with are our people…followers of Jesus committed to faithfully participating in his church and its work in the world.  But as we worshiped and I considered the privilege of participating in this body, I was reminded that the synods of our church stand on the shoulders of many other synods and councils that reach back to the formation of the church itself.  Councils such as the councils of Nicea in 325 and 787 AD, or the councils of Constantinople in 381 and in 553, or the Council of Chalcedon in 451.  These early councils shaped the central doctrines of the Christian faith and are the foundations for conversations we have at our synods today.  What a privilege it is to be part of the Christian church that has been evolving and continuing for over 2000 years!

For all the mission, governance, debate, and politics that have spawned councils and synods over two millennia, the church around the world continues to thrive and flourish.  It’s existence today is a testimony to the Spirit of God at work among us, sustaining us, and drawing us together.  Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians… For he (Christ) himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross…

A little more on synods…

For many of us, the term probably feels quite foreign.  Or perhaps irrelevant?  What exactly is a synod.  Why does it matter?

This week, Pastor Doug Bouws and elder Titus Davis are attending the annual synod meeting of the Christian Reformed Church in North America as delegates.  Nicole Veenkamp is attending as a young adult advisor.  So how does a synod work?  Granite Springs participates in a regional body of approximately 30 churches called a classis.  Classis meets twice a year.  Each Spring every classis in North America delegates two pastors and two elders to represent its classis at Synod.  There are 188 delegates at this synod.  This year synod is considering reports on faith formation, the role of deacons in major assemblies, structure and culture of a bi-national denomination, and a host of questions and issues related to the governance, leadership and health of the church.  In addition, synod hears and affirms stories of mission from around the world.  If you have an inkling to learn more, you can visit the synod website at…

http://www.crcna.org/synod

Synod plenary sessions are streamed live over the web at…

http://www.crcna.org/synod/webcast

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