Shouting Across the Divide? Synodical Dialogue in the RCA

The word ‘synod’ means together on the way, but general synods in recent years have felt anything but. On May 30, the Chicago Invitation will host a conversation about the myriad ways the RCA engages in conversation. How can we learn from our successes and failure to communicate? What options do we see moving forward? Are we just shouting across the divide, or are we truly together on the way?

This will be a unique event for the Chicago Invitation as it will take place in two locations: Western Theological Seminary and New Brunswick Theological Seminary, with presenters in both locations connected by an internet video-link so that both sites can fully engage.

Confirmed Presenters
Lynn Japinga, Professor of Religion at Hope College
Monica Schaap Pierce, RCA Ecumenical Associate
Emily Janssen, StoryCorps
Lisa Tice, Air Force Chaplain

What: “Shouting Across the Divide? Synodical Dialogue in the RCA”
When: May 30, 2019 10am-4pm
Where: Western Theological Seminary (Holland, Michigan)
New Brunswick Theological Seminary (New Brunswick, New Jersey)
Cost: $75; students are free
(to offset the cost of travel for presenters and lunch)

Register here

Announcement: Fall Gathering

November 1-3
The Stony Point Center
17 Cricketown Rd,
Stony Point, NY 10980

As is our typical pattern, we will gather on the first afternoon and conclude on the last morning. Some attend the whole conference; others come for just a part of it.

This event has the promise of being helpful for many. There is a great need to process the actions of General Synod 2016. We are working on lining up fine presenters. Some of them we expect will dive deep into the issues that became evident at Synod, such as biblical hermeneutics. Others will address other issues not connected with Synod but of importance for the Church and of great interest to many of us. We also plan to discuss plans to hold our spring gathering in the Midwest.

I do hope that you can attend.

Details about registration and schedule will be posted here over the next few weeks.

If you know others who should attend and have not attended, please encourage them to do so.

MINUTES: Meeting of participants in the Chicago Invitation discussion

Participants in the Chicago Invitation discussion met 6-8 May at Mariandale Retreat Center in Ossining, New York.

Present:     Jack Elliott, Jim Reid, Okke Postma, Norm Kansfield, Mary Kansfield, Donna Field, Herman Harmelink, Rett Zabriskie, George Casler, Pat Ryan, Dorothy Ver Strate Calvin, Amy Nyland, Al Janssen, Daniel Griswold, Stacey Midge, Angie Mabry-Nauta, Bill Hertlein, Tom Danney, Abby Norton-Levering, Ken Ruge, Lynn Japinga, Gary  and James Hart Brumm

6 May, Tuesday Continue reading “MINUTES: Meeting of participants in the Chicago Invitation discussion”

Why R-16 is a Sepectacularly Bad Idea

The “A Way Forward” task force has proposed a reflection on how the RCA does its business. R-16 proposes that the RCA review its church order that it might change the relationship between the synods, classes and congregations. The entire project is problematic from the outset because the fundamental changes envisioned change the Reformed church at its very core. The RCA functions with a particular understanding of those relationships and to alter those relationships, while possible, would be a shift in the Reformed church’s understanding of the nature of the church.

However, it is R-16c that makes the recommendation a “spectacularly” bad idea. Continue reading “Why R-16 is a Sepectacularly Bad Idea”