A smaller council, called the Group of Five, is preparing for and will facilitate the special council. It will also inform the church of the results. The Group of Five consists of five past General Synod presidents—Carol Mutch, Brad Lewis, Irving Rivera, Chuck Van Engen, and Tony Vis. They were selected for their wisdom and history of leadership in the denomination. None serve currently on the General Synod Council or its staff.
Statement from the Group of Five:
The RCA’s special council gathering planned for April 15-18 is not a governing body meeting, but rather an assembly of people representing the diversity of the RCA, including diversity of gender, sexual orientation, age, race, region, expertise, and offices of the church as mandated by the 2015 General Synod.
Our purpose at this special council will be to dialogue and then, guided by the Holy Spirit, describe and recommend to the 2016 General Synod a constitutional pathway forward to address the questions of human sexuality, particularly same-sex relationships as they relate to ordination.
We will have brief presentations and worship, as well as engaging in small group settings for dialogue. An important goal of our time together is to make sure that everyone who is present has a voice. We want to ensure the freedom of those sharing their perspectives and to allow for full concentration on listening to God and one another.
The nature of this gathering is not conducive to live streaming or to periodic updates from the council. We ask for your prayers and support, for God’s blessing on our time together, and for discernment of the Holy Spirit’s leading that we might say with the church of the first century, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…” (Acts 15:28).