Second Meeting ‘In Lieu of Synod’
“God is faithful. God is very faithful,” said Rev. Mark Vande Zande, pastor of First CRC in Orange City, Iowa, as he opened a special meeting of the Council of Delegates on June 15.
First CRC in Orange City would have been the convening church and Vande Zande the president pro tem of Synod 2021 if it had not been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As Vande Zande opened this alternate meeting, he encouraged attendees to respond to God’s faithfulness by being faithful in return.
“May we never waver from the Word of God, and may that lead us and guide us in all the decisions we make,” he said.
The special meeting took place June 15 and 16 via video conferencing in lieu of synod to deal with matters that were deemed essential and unable to wait for Synod 2022. Each session was livestreamed, and recordings of the meeting are available on Youtube.
In the week leading up to this meeting, the various subcommittees of the COD also met for a few hours each to deal with individual matters in advisory committees. You can find agenda materials and the advisory committee reports at crcna.org/cod-2021.
Below is a summary of the key outcomes of the special meeting:
- The executive director, Colin Watson, Sr., gave a “State of the Church” address.
- 31 men and women were approved as candidates for the office of minister of the Word (coverage from The Banner).
- The COD did not accede to two overtures seeking to halt the process of denominational and leadership restructuring (coverage from The Banner).
- The COD deferred overtures related to responding to the actions of Neland Avenue CRC, Grand Rapids, Mich., which ordained a deacon living in a same-sex marriage (coverage from The Banner).
- The committee working on preventing abuse of power gave a final report (coverage from The Banner).
- The COD upheld a decision to remove Bethany Christian Services from a list of nondenominational organizations accredited to receive offerings (coverage from The Banner).
- The executive director of the CRCNA was asked to develop and implement a method of ensuring that LGBTQ voices are heard by delegates of Synod 2022 (coverage from The Banner).
- An evaluation of the Global Mission ministries of the CRCNA was approved.
- Several nominees were appointed to boards and committees for the coming year.
- Outgoing Council of Delegates, Judicial Code Committee, and Ecumnical and Interfaith Committee members were thanked for their service.
- Ministerial retirements were noted, and the work of synodical deputies was approved.
- The budget and ministry share allocations for CRCNA ministries in the 2021-2022 ministry year were approved.
A full account of the decisions of this special meeting of the COD will be published and distributed this summer.