As a leader in the Christian Reformed Church in North America, I have been asked by a number of people, “What is going to happen at Synod?” Behind that question is a depth and range of emotions. There is hope and there is fear. There is also anticipation.
For a number of months, I have replied to the question, “What is going to happen at Synod?” by saying, “I don’t know.” I then quickly add, “But I think I know what the most important day of Synod is.” “Oh, what would that be?”
I then respond, “I would suggest that the most important day of Synod will be the day after Synod, because that will be the day that we begin to tell the story about how God worked through Synod.”
I already know that there will be disappointment no matter what Synod decides on a range of topics, including the handling of the Human Sexuality Report.
At the same time, I know that people have been and continue to pray for God to work through the Synod of the CRCNA. I would say that it is also good and fitting for us to anticipate that the Holy Spirit will be present and work through the imperfections of people and positions.
At the end of the day, what Synod decides will need additional processing and discernment. There will be the need to acknowledge that pain exists and is real on all sides of the conversation. There will be a need for humility and not hubris. There will also be a need to keep connected to one another.
Finally, there will need to be an appreciation that God responds to the prayers of His people. What God is saying to us is not a question that is closed on June 16 (the scheduled last Day of Synod), but an ongoing opportunity to again seek God’s leading – together.
So on the day after Synod, wherever you find yourself, will you join me and others in dedicating your heart and mind to being present with those around you, and continuing to seek additional discernment before the face of God?
We have much to gain or lose as witnesses for God the day after Synod in what we say and how we say it to each other.