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« “For the Sake of the Gospel”—The Apologetic Speeches of the Apostle Paul in the Book of Acts (Part One) | Main | Off To Synod »

Synod Wheaton 2018 -- A Couple of Thoughts (Updated)


There were many important items addressed at the 2018 URCNA Synod in Wheaton, Ill.  It was a tremendous blessing and most profitable to attend a concurrent URCNA Synod/OPC General Assembly.  Our two churches have much in common and no doubt this will encourage more joint efforts between us in the future. 

But two things stand out as the most important take-aways in my mind.  One is the production of a joint URC/OPC Hymnal, the Trinity Psalter Hymnal.  This is a huge development in many ways.  First, we have an outstanding Psalter with appropriate numbering--Psalm 1 is on page one.  Imagine that?  Second, the Psalms are versified so you can tell what verse from the Psalm you are singing. Third, the revivalist tunes ("couples only on stanza three") are gone.  What a joy to have a first-rate Psalter which is faithful to the biblical text.

Another take-away from Synod/General Assembly is the stress on both domestic and foreign missions.  The amount of mission work and church planting in which these two small confessional bodies are engaged is simply astonishing and a testimony to God's gracious purposes.  There is much for the URCNA to learn from our OPC brothers and sisters about how to do mission work and plant churches.  That learning process was given a giant boost at Synod. 

I wish that every joker who claims Reformed Christians "are not interested in evangelism" be made to sit through a video recording of Wednesday and Thursday night's missions presentations.  Our two churches are driven by our love for the lost--even if we in the URCNA need to improve the ways we put this love for the lost into practice.

If you were to ask me, "what was the main theme of Synod?"  I would answer "missions."


I was privileged to work on the committee tasked with addressing the four overtures sent on to our synod requesting a statement regarding marriage, which would not only reflect our historic position on marriage so as to provide protection from litigation, but also serve as a teaching tool to our millennials who do not see gay marriage in the same way most of us over 40 do. 

I'm the bald guy in praying posture.  Dr. Brian Lee of the "other" Christ Reformed Church in DC was the chair.  Our reporter--who does the work of keeping track of the discussions (Rev. Talman Wagenmaker)--is the best at this in the URCNA.  I think we produced a very solid document.  Synod did too.  It passed without dissent.  It will be available soon on the URCNA website.


"Daddy, what did you do at Synod?"  Most of you who know me, know I'm not a "synod kind of guy."  I certainly do realize the importance of Synod but I don't speak to matters on the floor unless necessary--as when I chaired the liturgical forms committee a few years ago.  I think the networking which takes place over coffee (at lunch and at breaks), or the beer and cigar afterglow is where much fruitful conversation takes place about matters regarding both Synod and our future as a federation. 

I'm chatting with Rev. Mike Brown and Dr. Ryan Glomsrud of WSC--one of many such informal sessions,

I always dread going to Synod, but then am glad I went.

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