In his report to the General Synod on Friday, June 9, president Dan Gillett reminded the RCA of its covenantal theology and urged the denomination to stay together.
“We can be just another denomination in North America that has fractured over the human sexuality issue,” Gillett said, “Or we might be the denomination that leads the way in change, transformation, mission, and revitalization in North America.”
Citing the significance of mission experiences for young people, he proposed that the general secretary send 20 young adults to serve with our RCA missionaries and mission partners during the 2017–2018 year, 40 young adults the following year, and 80 the year after that.
Gillett also proposed that every church in the RCA use the three-part video series “A Light to My Path: Interpreting Scripture as Reformed Christians.” The videos and accompanying discussion guide are intended to help RCA members understand the nature, purpose, and authority of Scripture. He affirmed the proposal of general secretary Tom De Vries that RCA classes and regional synods discuss the future of the RCA, suggesting that the videos be used a resource as part of those discussions.
In addition, Gillett proposed that two General Synod Council members and two RCA members meet with the Pastoral Formation Coordinating Committee to discuss and clarify the potential redefinition of the Certificate of Fitness for Ministry as a certificate of academic readiness.
Gillett acknowledged the conflict in the RCA, saying, “I do not believe that having tough discussions means that we are failing. Sometimes it means we care enough to be upset.” In anticipation of the coming year, he urged all RCA assemblies, bodies, and members to maintain their covenant bonds, to refrain from pushing the boundaries around the human sexuality conflict, and to stay in the denomination.
He urged the RCA to focus on its God-given mission, and he celebrated the transformation that is occurring in the RCA.
“Our mission is greater than our conflict,” he said.
See full synod coverage at www.rca.org/synod.