The Chicago Invitation and Wesley Granberg-Michaelson
Signatories of the Chicago Invitation met with Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, RCA General Secretary, at the Mariandale Retreat Center in Ossining, New York, on 6 March for its tenth biannual session. Carol Bechtel, vice president of General Synod, had suggested the meeting and served as moderator.
There was a frank, open, and supportive discussion around questions that Wes posed to the signatories and which they posed to him.
Wes expressed his concerns over factionalism within the RCA that goes beyond the historical differences in ethos and traditions. He noted that various groups have a tendency to talk about but not to each other. He highlighted the need of the RCA to nurture new leadership. He spoke about new cultural groups that are moving into the denomination, and the need to honestly address how those groups will and should change our denominational culture. Wes continues to feel called by God to encourage and equip leadership in the RCA. He is dedicated to serving this denomination in using its unique gifts to respond to contemporary society and answer Gods call to mission.
Signatories talked about how they, as a group, can support the work and witness of the RCA by creating forums for conversation about the nature of the church and the importance of order and covenantal relationships in the denominations life. The Chicago Invitation and its signatories have found a hearing in parts of the church, but do not see themselves as a faction. They simply desire to keep light shining on issues of a constitutional nature, for the sake of the denomination itself and for the sake of the Church at large. Our Heritage is not antiquated, but dynamic and relevant for our late-modern age.
Issues discussed included denominational staff redistribution, finances, and perceptions of changes and sense of loss. Common concerns addressed patterns of communication and decision making. We noted factors of hope in the Sovereignty of God and the life of the Reformed Church in America.