General Synod

On Monday, the Commission on Christian Action (CCA) reported back on mass incarceration-related recommendations approved by last year’s synod. 

On Sunday night, synod delegates came together to discuss the RCA’s future as a multiethnic church. 

Following extensive debate Saturday morning and afternoon, synod delegates voted to form a special council charged to describe a “constitutional pathway forward” for the RCA regarding human-sexuality questions related to ordination and marriage. The vote passed by a 2-to-1 margin.

“This is the first time we are bringing a Transformed & Transforming report to synod,” general secretary Tom De Vries said. “Tonight we are talking about what [the ministry plan] looks like, and where are we seeing God at work in our congregations.

In response to an overture, or letter, from the Regional Synod of Albany, synod delegates on Friday marked the centenary of the Armenian Genocide.

General Synod on Friday evening celebrated the vibrant, fast-growing church in Chiapas, Mexico, and the RCA missionaries and mission supporters who helped build it.

Roman Catholic Bishop Tod Brown of the Diocese of Orange in Southern California told General Synod delegates that he considers the 2011 acquisition of the former Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove to be “a gift from God and a gift to our church.”

On Friday afternoon, General Synod delegates celebrated the work of church multiplication within the RCA, including 16 multi-site plants that have been started over the last eight years.

Saying that it’s time for the RCA to settle constitutional issues related to homosexuality, Greg Alderman in his president’s report proposed a special council to develop a way forward for the RCA.

In his report to synod Friday morning, general secretary Tom De Vries challenged delegates to think about living and loving like Jesus in three new ways: to think different, act different, and stand faithful.