You’ve heard, no doubt that the GS adopted the Belhar. Here’s its official action:
R-50 AdoptedTo adopt the Belhar Confession provisionally for two years, testing it:
in worship through RCA liturgy,
in teaching through formation and nurture of faith for RCA witness and mission,
in discernment as a theological foundation for the RCA call “to follow Christ in mission in a lost and broken world,”
in confessing the themes of unity, reconciliation, and justice by “participating in God’s transformation of our lives, our congregations, and the world”
for report to the General Synod of 2009 through the Commission on Christian Unity.
Its other action re: Belhar was thus:
R-64 Adopted as AmendedTo urge the seminaries, colleges, classes, and congregations of the RCA to develop strategies for studying the Belhar Confession and to incorporate it in worship and policy making.
Common to both actions was the “testing” of the Belhar in RCA liturgy (an interesting way of putting it, but we’ll just let that one go), or the “incorporating” of the Belhar in worship.
As people who have interest in the Belhar, or who have done creative work in crafting the words spoken or sung by the people of God as they gather for worship, or who are well connected with other people who do, I am writing, of my own initiative, to encourage you to pick up the Belhar and discern whether and how you would encourage a congregation to confess the Belhar in worship.
I have extended to the ‘powers that be’ that I am willing to be a repository for such creative work, and to keep a project going for presentation to the 2009 General Synod. Since the action indicates that the report of 2009 would come through the Commission on Christian Unity, I’ve checked with its staff person, Doug Fromm, to ask whether my volunteering would be welcomed. He says that it is.
That said, I need to indicate from the outset that it’s no guarantee that everything that is submitted will ultimately be used. Sometimes things just don’t work very well, no matter how hard we try, and we do want to be sure that whatever is presented to the church will be of highest use-ability, quality, and theological integrity.
I do intend to contact someone within the URCSA to find out if they have also published liturgical resources. I hope that such can also be included.
Do you have other ideas or suggestions? I would love to hear them. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peace be with you all. I hope you find this invitation to be challenging and stimulating!