Committee In Loco Named
Six people have been named to a committee in loco in response to requests from Synod 2022. They met for the first time Aug. 15.
Synod is the annual decision-making meeting of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. At its 2022 meeting, synodical delegates considered several matters related to human sexuality, including how to respond to the actions of Neland Avenue Christian Reformed Church, which had appointed a person in a same-sex marriage to the office of deacon.
In June, Synod 2022 instructed Neland Avenue CRC to immediately rescind its decision, nullifying the deacon’s current term. It also instructed the newly appointed general secretary of the CRCNA, Rev. Zachary King, to appoint a committee in loco for following up on synod’s decisions (Acts of Synod 2022, pp. 925-26, 941-42). In loco is Latin for “in the proper place” and this committee serves and is empowered to act on behalf of synod.
The committee has the following mandate:
- Meet with Neland Avenue CRC to oversee its compliance to synod’s rulings.
- Meet with Classis Grand Rapids East to admonish them regarding their responsibility to uphold our shared denominational covenants and procedures as laid out in the Church Order and the Covenant for Officebearers.
- Report to Classis Grand Rapids East at the autumn meeting and make pertinent recommendations for its deliberations and action.
- If necessary, invite three other classes to assist the committee in dealing with the issues regarding Neland Avenue CRC.
- Report to Synod 2023, by way of the published Agenda for Synod, its own actions and any classical actions taken, and present its recommendations.
Rev. Paul De Vries, pastor of Brookside CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich., and former chair of the Council of Delegates, was asked to chair the committee in loco. The additional members are:
• Gregg DeMey, pastor of Elmhurst (Ill.) CRC
• William Koopmans, pastor of Hope CRC, Brantford, Ont.
• John Mondi, pastor of African Community Fellowship Church, Kentwood, Mich.
• Joshua Van Drunen, pastor of First CRC, Cutlerville, Mich.
• Beverly Weeks, pastor of visitation at Blythefield CRC, Rockford, Mich.
Following synod, King spent time soliciting nominations, sending requests, and seeking God’s guidance. He then met with each prospective committee member to ask them questions, and he encouraged them to prayerfully discern before they responded.
“I fervently believe that the pastors on this committee will be excellent servants and wise shepherds to help facilitate the instructions of synod, while also listening pastorally to the concerns of both Neland Avenue CRC and Classis Grand Rapids East,” King said.
The committee held their first meeting on Aug. 15 and are expected to meet with both Neland Avenue CRC and Classis Grand Rapids East in September.
“We are holding two things in tension,” explained De Vries. “On the one hand, we want to serve with great integrity with respect to the delegated and communal authority of synod’s decision. At the same time, we also respect the original and local authority of Neland. If we hold both of these in our hands, working in this place of tension with Christlike love and care for Neland and our denomination,I trust we can get to a place of reconciliation.”
The work of this committee is considered confidential. As such, anyone with questions about or for the committee is asked to communicate with King at [email protected]