Synod 2013 will be busy in early June dealing with everything from appointing a new executive director of the Christian Reformed Church to considering whether to expand the role of deacons.

Beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, June 7, in the Covenant Fine Arts Center Auditorium at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Synod 2013 will be attending to its normal business and addressing a number of other issues, including such requests as creation of a new classis in Michigan.

This request stems from a desire to create a classis that is made up of congregations that do not believe women should hold office in the CRC.

Synod will receive a report from the Board of Trustees outlining how the Office of Pastor-Church Relations can respond better to churches struggling with internal and relational difficulties before they become more complex.

Synod additionally will be asked to review and discuss the CRC Task Force Reviewing Structure and Culture report that makes suggestions on how to move forward to restructure denominational agencies, ministries and its administration to better and more nimbly respond to the needs of congregations.

Synod will be asked as well to encourage churches to make use of new resources produced by the Faith Formation Committee regarding children at the Lord’s Supper and public profession of faith. The report by the Diversity in Leadership Planning Group II brings recommendations addressing diversity in the CRC’s leadership.

Prior to the opening of Synod, the congregations of the CRC are being asked to remember the synodical assembly in intercessory prayers on Sundays, June 2 and 9.

“Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will equip the synodical delegates to serve in faith and obedience and will lead the Christian Reformed Church into new and challenging areas of ministry,” writes Rev. Joel Boot, executive director of the CRC, in the preface to the agenda.

More specifically, issues to be discussed and addressed include:

  • Reviewing the findings of the Task Force Reviewing Structure and Culture that states there are five areas in which the CRC needs to focus its efforts. These include: to develop leaders; start and strengthen churches; make and develop disciples; love mercy— do justice, and serve globally.
  • Discussing the proposal that expands the role of deacons. One of the recommended changes, according to material published in the agenda, states that deacons “shall lead the congregation in ways that inspire faithful stewardship of their time, talent, and resources and so give life in this world the shape of God’s kingdom …”

Download the Agenda for Synod 2013 here

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