General Synod 2017 News Summary

General Synod 2017 met June 8-13 on the campus of Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and addressed many aspects of ministry and mission in the RCA.

Delegates Call For Unity and Discussion of RCA’s Future

Synod approved a denomination-wide discussion about unity and the future of the RCA. General secretary Tom De Vries proposed the conversation in his report, and delegates began the conversation at synod. 

Delegates again called for unity when they voted to urge RCA assemblies, other bodies, and members to maintain covenant bonds

Synod Looks to Standards to Define Marriage

General Synod affirmed that the Heidelberg Catechism in Q&A 108 and 109 “categorically states that God condemns all ‘unchastity,’ which includes same-sex sexual activity” (R 17-61). 

The Heidelberg Catechism is one of the RCA’s four Standards of Unity. The recommendation says, “faithful adherence to the RCA’s Standards, therefore, entails the affirmation that marriage is between one man and one woman.” 

Commissioned Pastors to Join Broader Assemblies 

Delegates approved commissioned pastors becoming voting members of consistory, classis, regional synod, and General Synod (R 17-21). These changes, which are amendments to the Book of Church Order, will go to the classes for approval. Before voting, delegates met in all-synod advisory committees to discuss the recommendation. The majority of the committees advised support for the amendment. They also brought forth three additional recommendations, all of which were approved, asking for clarity about and support for commissioned pastors.

Synod also celebrated:

In other business: