Press Release Day 1 Synod 2014
The United Reformed Churches in North America
Synod Visalia 2014 Press Release #1
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
The year of the Lord 2014 finds the Church of Jesus Christ as represented within the United Reformed Churches in North America gathering together in the beautiful central valley of Visalia, California for her ninth meeting of Synod. Trinity United Reformed Church of Visalia is serving as the convening consistory and the host church. Her adequate and beautiful facilities provide the delegates with the necessary accommodations for the deliberations of the matters placed before Synod by the churches.
Prior to the convening of Synod, a prayer meeting was held on Monday evening. Petitions were lifted up to the Lord of heaven and earth for the delegates and officers of Synod along with the activities of Synod. The delegates also employed songs to praise the Almighty God. Rev. Adrian Dieleman delivered a sermon of encouragement entitled, “Ministry in Terrible Times” from 2 Timothy 3:14.
Tuesday morning began under the leadership of Rev. Adrian Dieleman as chairman pro tem on behalf of the convening consistory. After the reading of the roll call, all the delegates continued with the historic reformed practice of indicating their assent to the Formula of Subscription thereby giving expression to the doctrinal unity of the body and the churches, a doctrinal unity that is based upon a common reception of the authoritative Word of God.
The election of officers seated the Rev. Bradd Nymeyer as chairman, Rev. John Bouwers as vice-chairman, Rev. Doug Barnes as first clerk and Rev. Greg Lubbers as second clerk. As Synod began her work, the men representing the churches were reminded of their task to serve with humility the cause of the churches and the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ.
One of the blessed privileges of Synod is to receive warm fraternal greetings from representatives of various federations and denominations with which the URCNA shares ecumenical relations. Dr. Alan Strange addressed the body on behalf of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC). He brought attention to the decisions of the respective federations in the mutual cooperation between the OPC and URCNA to labor together in the construction of a common Psalter and hymn book for use in corporate worship. Throughout the day, the delegates employed the result of those labors in the singing of Psalter selections proposed by the mutual songbook committees. Synod also had the opportunity to hear from Elder Edward Laman on behalf of the Free Reformed Churches of North America (FRCNA). Emphasis was placed upon the common heritage the respective denominations share in coming into existence as a result of theological conviction and of the on-going dialogue exploring the nature of the organic union between the URCNA and the FRCNA.
The large portion the day was occupied with various advisory committee meetings. The fruit of these advisory committee labors gave material for the evening portion of the day’s work. While various matters were taken up, much of it was left for final completion in the forthcoming days, DV. One notable decision was the provision for an interactive discussion and question period from representative seminary professors from the URCNA and the CanRC on Wednesday evening.
Rev. Greg Lubbers
(Revised June 5, 2014)