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General Synod began the day with morning worship, led by the newly reconstituted Native American Indigenous Ministries Council. Pastor Nathan Gullion preached on the parable of the Good Samaritan, found in Luke 10:25-37.

Synod votes to condense classes, regional synods

On Friday evening, the General Synod began deliberating about the restructuring recommendations. The assembly worked through five of the recommendations, with each receiving overwhelming approval. For an in-depth look at the discussion and motions approved, as well as next steps before full approval and implementation, read more here.

General Synod president urges delegates to look forward in faithfulness and unity

On Friday afternoon, General Synod president Rev. Judy Nelson delivered her president’s report to the assembly. The president detailed her travel through the United States and Europe, meeting leaders who represent the RCA throughout the world. Through these relationships and experiences, she witnessed how churches are caring for those in need, innovating ministry to be the hands and feet of Christ in their communities, and listened with leaders as they held discussions about the work of the restructuring team. 

“Now is not the time to close yourself off and decide to look back instead of looking forward; we don’t have that choice, brothers and sisters,” she said. “This is our time, friends; let’s do it well! I believe it is the time to together decide that we can optimize the RCA’s sustained spiritual and organizational health through moving into the suggested directions of the restructuring team.” Delegates will begin considering recommendations from the restructuring team on Friday evening; watch the videostream.

Nelson shared signs of flourishing within the RCA, noting that while other denominations were casting out churches and leaders for affirming the gifts of women in ministry and leadership, the RCA celebrates five decades of women in leadership. She highlighted the significant and varied work of chaplains in the RCA as well, noting that she is the first chaplain to serve as General Synod president. 

She encouraged the assembly to remember the virtue of faithfulness over the long term, and the virtue of remembering our unity by baptism into Christ. “We have all emerged from the beautiful waters of baptism,” she said. “We are in Christ. Let us live in Christ in such a way that all other identifiers become a distant second. That’s the kind of community that can embody the fruit of the Spirit.”

Watch the full report

General secretary calls for unity, humility, and discipleship

“For way too long, we in the Reformed Church in America have been divided and it’s time, RCA, to start living in a manner worthy of the calling that we have received from the Lord,” said general secretary Rev. Eddy Alemán in his report to synod. “Let us become the church God wants us to be. We are Reformed and always reforming.”

Friday morning, Alemán encouraged delegates to seek and discern the guidance and will of Christ together; the synod will begin deliberating on recommendations from the restructuring team on Friday evening. For a denomination that has experienced a decrease in its church numbers in the last few years, Alemán shared that the rate of departures from the denomination has slowed dramatically. 

In addition to highlighting the work of the RCA staff through church revitalization and multiplication, global mission, diversity and belonging, and next generation engagement, Alemán recognized the important ministry of women in the RCA and unapologetically blessed and affirmed all women leaders and pastors. 

Alemán concluded his report with a pastoral call for unity. Reflecting on what we can learn from the first century church in the book of Acts, Alemán invited the RCA to become the Acts 2.0 church—a church that is humble, global, and makes disciples.

Watch the full report.

General Synod approves task force to study international church planting

On Friday afternoon, the General Synod voted to form a task force to “study the opportunities and implications of having Reformed Church in America assemblies beyond North America.” This recommendation came from the General Synod Council (GSC) serving as the executive committee, responding to both excitement and concern from many constituents in the denomination.

In its report, the GSC cited 11 churches that have joined the RCA from outside the U.S. and Canada in the last few years, as well as groups like the restructuring team and the Board of Benefits Services who are seeking clarification for how to incorporate these new members with equity, justice, and good order.

“Indeed the GSC sees both the opportunities and the challenges of the RCA having member assemblies outside the U.S. and Canada,” said GSC moderator Kim Van Es. “To move forward in faith and good order, we see much wisdom in forming a task force to address important questions about this significant change in our denomination.

“The purpose of recommending this task force is not to squelch or diminish the partnerships happening across national borders but instead, as a denomination, come to a consensus on how these changes can be executed well, and for the good of all involved,” she added.

The task force should include members from the Commission on History, the Commission on Church Order, the Commission on Theology, RCA Global Mission and church multiplication staff, and classes in relationship with churches beyond North America.

Delegates deliberated both in favor of and against a delay in the report, considering the international church planting work that is already happening as well as the constraints of the commissions to do their work in the next year. Ultimately, the General Synod directed a preliminary report at General Synod 2025, with further recommendation regarding church multiplication outside North America in 2026.

Celebrating Years of Faithful Mission Service

Friday afternoon, Global Mission associate director Scott Engelsman shared about the ongoing work of RCA Global Mission around the world. During the report, he also honored the faithful service of missionaries and staff who have retired or transitioned from RCA Global Mission service in the last year. This includes RCA staff member Kathy DeKock and missionaries Keith Krebs, Cheryl Barnes, Isaias Colop-Xec, and John and Lynn Hubers. 

John and Lynne Hubers were in attendance and shared a brief reflection on their multiple roles over the last 45 years. 

“I’m not sure [we’re] ever going to [actually] retire because this is our mission,” shared John Hubers. “None of [our mission career] would have been possible, not one minute of [it] would have been possible without the support of Reformed Church congregations, individuals, dozens of churches over the years providing financial support [and] providing prayer support.” 

Hubers also echoed the encouragement for all RCA churches to partner in mission with RCA Global Mission. General Synod approved Partnership-in-Mission shares to remain set at $6,900. 

Watch the full report and view the missionary videos shared at General Synod.

General Synod elects Tony Schmid as the new treasurer of General Synod

In April 2024, Tony Schmid was hired by general secretary Eddy Alemán to become the new chief financial officer (CFO) of the General Synod Council of the Reformed Church in America.

It is the historic practice of the General Synod to elect the CFO as the treasurer of the General Synod. On Friday afternoon, the General Synod elected Tony Schmid to be the treasurer of the General Synod. Schmid will also serve as treasurer of the GSC, the Church Growth Fund, the Board of Benefits Services, and the Ministerial Formation Certification Agency. Learn more about Tony Schmid, his previous experience, and why he is excited to join the GSC staff.

Other Business

  • The General Synod heard reports from the Board of Benefits Services (BOBS) and the Church Growth Fund (CGF). BOBS highlighted the Retiree Chaplains Program and its impact with this video.
  • The General Synod also ratified amendments to the Book of Church Order, approved in first reading by General Synod 2023 and by two-thirds of classes, as appropriate. 
  • The body also approved the continuation of the Commission on Race and Ethnicity and the Commission on Christian Action, as well as the transfer of four churches from the Classis of the Americas to the International Classis of Texas.
  • Cedric Nelms, pastor of Chosen Generation Fellowship Church (Long Beach, California), delivered the Commission for Women report, celebrating RCA women in ministry as the denomination continues to celebrate five decades of women in ordained ministry as elders, deacons, and ministers of Word and sacrament.

Watch the videostream of General Synod worship and plenary sessions

For full coverage of General Synod 2024, visit