The RCA’s General Synod will be held next week alongside the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA). Both denominations will be meeting at Central College in Pella, Iowa.

It is the first time the two denominations have held their synods together. The denominations have been divided since the CRC split from the RCA in 1857. (In 2011, they held a joint session when their synods, both held at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, overlapped.)

The two denominations have amped up collaboration in recent years, working together in church planting, disability ministry, faith formation, and more. (For a full list, see Earlier in 2014 RCA general secretary Tom De Vries and CRCNA executive director Joel Boot traveled across North America to celebrate and promote the collaboration.

Joint events will be held throughout the synods, including opening worship, three plenary sessions, morning prayer services every day, and a Sunday evening community worship service and picnic.

During Saturday’s joint session, delegates of both synods will consider a joint resolution that spells out a guiding principle for their future relationship.

“We declare that the principle that guides us, and the intention that motivates us, is to ‘act together in all matters except those in which deep differences of conviction compel us to act separately,'” the resolution says.

“The agreement could serve as a reference point in the journey that longs for healing and reconciliation,” says the report of the Commission on Christian Unity, which proposed the joint resolution.

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