Canceling sessions of the General Synod: Lessons from 1933

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, communication came from the Stated Clerk of the General Synod that the 2020 session will be “postponed” until 2021, but that a special session will be called in October. The examples of 1933 and 1935 were cited as years in which there was no General Synod, which, as we … More Canceling sessions of the General Synod: Lessons from 1933

Reformed Church General Synod 2017: Deacons in Broader Assemblies

This is part of a series of posts about the items and topics before the General Synod 2017.  Other posts in this series: Commissioned Pastors, Part 1: Foundations Commissioned Pastors, Part 2: Recommendations before General Synod Overtures on Declarative Authority *** While human sexuality will be the topic on everyone’s mind (even if it is … More Reformed Church General Synod 2017: Deacons in Broader Assemblies

Reformed Church General Synod 2017: Overtures on Declarative Authority

This is part of a series of posts about the items and topics before the General Synod 2017.  Other posts in this series: Commissioned Pastors, Part 1: Foundations Commissioned Pastors, Part 2: Recommendations before General Synod *** An addition to the General Synod Workbook was recently released containing overtures from the regional synods. There are … More Reformed Church General Synod 2017: Overtures on Declarative Authority

Declarative Authority and the General Synod

The Book of Church Order, in its Preamble, notes three types of authority that Christ has given to the church: ministerial, declarative, and spiritual. Ministerial authority is the right to act as Christ’s servants. Declarative authority is the right to speak in his name within the limits set by Scripture. The church shall declare what is … More Declarative Authority and the General Synod

Reformed Church General Synod 2017: Commissioned Pastors, Part 2

This is part of a series of posts about the items and topics before the General Synod 2017.  *** There are several significant changes to the church order being proposed this year regarding the recently invented ministry designation of commissioned pastor. In the previous post, I addressed some foundations of office and some of the … More Reformed Church General Synod 2017: Commissioned Pastors, Part 2

Reformed Church General Synod 2017: Commissioned Pastors, Part 1

For the Reformed Church, this is General Synod season. The General Synod Workbook has been released, and the church is abuzz with the variety of items and topics that will be discussed at General Synod. The first piece related specifically to the General Synod is about the ministry designation of commissioned pastor. Because it is not … More Reformed Church General Synod 2017: Commissioned Pastors, Part 1

Governance by Assembly and the Problem of Representation (Part II)

In Part I, we laid a foundation for what representation means in the church. In Part II, we are going to look at how this exists in practice, particularly regarding the General Synod. The General Synod apportions delegates proportionally. Every classis is able to send two ministers and two elders, and larger classes are able to send … More Governance by Assembly and the Problem of Representation (Part II)