Opening Worship Calls for Unity
RCA and CRCNA delegates joined for worship Thursday evening at Third Church (RCA) in Pella.
Denise Kingdom Grier brought the message. She is pastor of Maple Avenue Ministries in Holland, Michigan--the first union church of the RCA and CRCNA.
"It's been 150 years since we've been together for synod, and I say it's about time," she said.
Kingdom Grier preached a message from 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. She spoke of "a famine in the land"--a famine of love, not only in neighborhoods and churches but also in the RCA and CRCNA.
"We have forsaken the Great Commandment for the Great Commission," she said, and then asked, "What would this synod be like if we really loved?"
She wove references to Joseph and his brothers, Elijah and the widow, and Ruth and Naomi into her message and concluded by reminding delegates that in the midst of famine, God provides a "love feast."
Kingdom Grier encouraged delegates to come together, to share in each other's affliction and in each other's comfort--to lift up holy hands and to praise the God of all comfort who comforts us.
Delegates celebrated communion together. The Lord's Table was presided over by Ryan Faber, pastor of worship and administration at Faith Christian Reformed Church in Pella, and RCA General Synod president Carl Boersma.
The praise team that led singing included musicians from both denominations.
An offering was taken for World Renew, the RCA's primary partner for domestic disaster response.