General Synod began today in Holland, Michigan, with the ringing of president James Nakakihara’s bell. Dennis Voskuil, interim president of Hope College, welcomed delegates and guests to campus.

General secretary Eddy Alemán greeted delegates and thanked them for their prayers and support. Alemán celebrated the work of God throughout the denomination and also urged delegates to “have honest, graceful, and respectful conversations full of the love of Jesus with one another.” An overview of the report is available, or the report can be read in its entirety.

In the evening, synod attendees, RCA staff, and members of the local community gathered for opening worship in Dimnent Chapel. Together, they spent time in prayer, song, and communion. Don Poest, former interim general secretary and a past president of General Synod, asked some pointed questions during his message: “How will we show up for synod? How will we treat one another? … Whose kingdom will be front and center: our kingdom or Christ’s kingdom?” He reflected on the end of Galatians 5, contrasting the fruit of the Spirit with that of the flesh and encouraging delegates to show up with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. At the end of the service, he offered this benediction: “May you be givers and receivers of that fruit this week.”

Here’s a video of everyone singing the doxology during opening worship:



The RCA Chaplains Conference is convening June 5-8 on campus with 57 participants. RCA chaplains serve throughout North America and around the world.

The stated clerks of regional synods and classes are also meeting at Hope College this week.