Conversations Kick-Off: Listen for God to Speak
Friday evening, RCA general secretary Tom De Vries asked more than 500 people gathered from across the RCA to listen for God to speak, and then to trust and obey God's direction.
Those who gathered are taking part this weekend in Conversations: Seeking God's Future for the RCA. The event has brought together pastors, elders and deacons, lay leaders, and other congregants of all ages to discern God's future direction for the Reformed Church. The event began on Friday evening with worship.
"The temptation is to hear from each other and claim we heard from God," De Vries cautioned. Instead, he said, what will be vital will be "listening to hear what God is saying to us and about our life together."
"We stand here today to be a witness and a testimony to who Jesus Christ is," said De Vries. He compared the congregations of the RCA to a grove of aspens, which look like individual trees but are interconnected underground, a community in ways that are hidden and mysterious. "My prayer is that the wind of the Spirit would blow through the grove that is the RCA," he said.
"We must be ready to listen and receive, and then we have to be committed to doing it—to doing God's will. My prayer is that we will trust, follow, and obey in pursuing what God has shown us to do. It will require surrender and submission as we walk humbly with God."
At the conclusion of his message, De Vries invited everyone to participate in a ceremonial cleansing called a mikvah. People washed their hands in large bowls of water placed around the meeting room in "a ritual of coming clean before God with clean hands and a pure heart."
Conversations continues Saturday with participants breaking into small groups for a discussion and discernment process.