Frequently Asked Questions after Synod 2022
Following Synod 2022’s actions related to the report of the Committee to Articulate a Foundation-laying Biblical Theology of Human Sexuality, a number of people reached out to the ministries of the CRCNA with questions about what these decisions mean for them, their pastors, and their congregations.
- What did Synod 2022 actually decide?
- How is this different from what synods had decided in the past?
- If I disagree with Synod 2022’s decision, what does this mean for officebearers in the church, or for chaplains, missionaries, and specialized ministers?
- Is there a procedure for affiliating or disaffiliating with the CRCNA?
“We received these [and other] questions and wanted to do our best to provide answers that are in line with Church Order, speak with integrity about what synod decided, and show pastoral care and love for Christ and Christ’s church,” said Zachary King, general secretary.
King and his staff gathered the most frequently asked questions and worked with Church Order experts to provide answers to them.
“We recognize that for most, if not all, of the people asking questions, the interest in these Church Order matters is not theoretical,” added King. “They are asking difficult questions that affect them as pastors, elders, deacons, and church members. We encourage councils and classes to create intentional time for prayer, discernment, and open and respectful dialogue about these matters.”
Wherever possible, the FAQ answers point people to relevant parts of Church Order where they can find more information. Yet, King admits, there is still some ambiguity. Many of the ecclesial governance processes cited in the answers, for example, have rarely been used in the history of the CRCNA.
“We have tried to answer questions to the best of our knowledge of Church Order and synodical rules of procedure, but we recognize that these rules are subject to the interpretation of synod and can be changed by future synods,” he explained. “We also anticipate that many of the issues addressed in this document will be worked through at many councils and classes in the coming year, and may be dealt with by multiple synods as well. In order to navigate all of this, a spirit of love, grace, and patience will be essential.”