Synod 2012 endorsed “Lift UpYour Hearts: Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs,” the new hymnal being created in conjunction with the Reformed Church in America. The hymnal is due out in 2013.
There was much discussion about whether synod could endorse the hymnal without seeing it first. Rev. Joyce Borger from the hymnal’s editorial committee said that the committee has at least seven people with theological degrees, and a delegate pointed out that synod has been singing from the hymnal all week during worship.
Synod also commended and recommended for support Friendship Ministries for the work it is doing in providing resources and materials to persons who have disabilities.
In another lengthy discussion, synod dealt with a change last year’s synod made to the Church Order that shouldn’t have been made.
Synod 2011 changed Church Order Article 59-b that refers to the commitments to creeds and confession as a requirement for public profession of faith. In talking about public profession, Synod 2011 removed from the Church Order any mention about the role of the creeds and confessions in making that public profession of faith.
This year’s synod corrected that by reinserting the sentence that was removed last year. It also asked the Faith Formation Committee to work on the language to present to a future synod.
In other business, Synod 2012 thanked Rev. William Koopmans for his many years of service as chairperson of the denomination’s Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee. Koopmans in turn represented the denomination in thanking Rev. Peter Borgdorff for his work championing the Belhar Confession.
“Your leadership was more than capable, more than significant, it was excellent,” Koopmans said, drawing laughter from many delegates since the day before, synod had wrangled over whether to refer to the Belhar Confession as excellent or significant.
Synod also heard from Dr. Gaylen Byker in his last address to synod before he retires as president of Calvin College.
Just before lunch, synod acknowledged the pastors who are retiring from the ministry this year. They were recognized, thanked, and blessed, after which delegates sang the doxology.
This afternoon, synod will continue to work its way through agenda matters. Tonight at 7 p.m., synod is scheduled to discuss the report from the Creation Stewardship Task Force.