General Synod Council, Meeting alongside Commissions, Focuses on Denominational Vision for Transformed and Transforming
The General Synod Council (GSC) met October 10 to 13, 2013, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The GSC serves the General Synod and assemblies of the RCA as the program agent for mission and ministry and as the General Synod's executive committee.
The General Synod Commissions on Christian Unity, Women, History, Christian Action, Theology, Christian Discipleship and Education, Race and Ethnicity, Church Order, Nominations, and Christian Worship also met at this time, a practice begun several years ago to encourage collaboration among commissions and between the commissions and the GSC.
Cooperation and interaction between the commissions and the GSC continue to be valuable, both as a community-building element of the fall meetings and as the commissions and GSC look toward the reports and recommendations that will be brought to the General Synod in June.
R-9/R-10 Transformed and Transforming: Radically Following Christ in Mission Together
Members of the GSC and each commission spent significant time discussing how they see themselves and their churches, missional communities, and commissions engaged in the work of Transformed and Transforming. Transformed and Transforming is the 15-year vision/goal that General Synod 2013 approved for the denomination. It identifies three strategic priorities: cultivating transformation in Christ, equipping emerging leaders of today and tomorrow, and engaging in Christ's kingdom mission.
The GSC began its initial reflection, dialogue, and drafting the creation of ends statements. Discussion and revision will continue with the GSC members working on the ends statements via an online platform. The GSC will complete the creation of the ends at their March meeting.
GSC continues cooperation and partnership with subsidiary corporations and agencies
The GSC received reports from the Board of Benefit Services, the Church Growth Fund, the Ministerial Formation Certification Agency, and each of the three racial-ethnic councils. This interaction is helpful in both understanding and sharing in the ministries of these agencies.
GSC officer reports and classis visit reports
The GSC heard reports from the GSC officers on their work, travel, and ministry across the RCA. The GSC also reported on visits and work with local classes, which is an integral aspect of the responsibilities of GSC members.
Other GSC Business
- Received and approved executive limitations reports provided by the general secretary. These annual reports are one means used by GSC to hold accountable the general secretary and GSC staff charged with responsibility for carrying out the "ends" (purposes) defined by GSC in response to the directives of the General Synod.
- Future meetings: March 25-27, 2014, in Phoenix, Arizona, and General Synod, June 12-17, 2014, at Central College in Pella, Iowa.