Sioux Center, Iowa — Delegates from across Canada and the United States have been meeting since Friday at Dordt College in Sioux Center for the Christian Reformed Church of North America’s annual synod.
Delegates to Synod 2015 participated in a listening session to share ideas about how churches can respond pastorally in a variety of situations involving the issue of same-sex marriage. Rev. Rolf Bouma, the chair of the synodically-appointed Committee to Provide Pastoral Guidance Regarding Same Sex Marriage emphasized that the committee was specifically instructed not to revisit the denominational stance on homosexuality, but to “address the cultural and legal aspects of same-sex marriage as they impact the church and its ministry.”
In a historic move, Synod 2015 voted to make deacons full participants in the broader decision-making bodies of the Christian Reformed Church. Throughout CRC history, only elders and ministers have been delegated to synod from classes, but now delegations will consist of a minister, an elder, a deacon, and, in the case of synod, one other officebearer who may be a minister, an elder, or a deacon.
After heated discussion at last year’s synod about articles printed in The Banner, the magazine of the Christian Reformed Church, Synod 2015 approved a slightly changed mandate. The mandate was revised to more clearly specify the parameters of how the Banner editor exercises editorial judgment.