I am privileged this year to be selected (I volunteered) to be an Elder delegate for the Schenectady Classis to the RCA’s General Synod. The other delegates from Schenectady are the Rev. Janet Vincent (from Bacon Hill and the past President of the Classis), Rev. Ann Reilly (solo pastor at State Street Presbyterian Church and the Regional Synod of Albany Communications Coordinator), and Elder Carol “Kitt” Jackson (from Altamont).
On June 1 I sat through an hour long webinar on the General Synod, how it operates, and what kind of procedures will be followed. At the beginning there was a comment about the organization of the RCA. Although some might see the General Synod as the “top” governing body of the church, in actuality, the RCA’s table of organization shows the churches, and their Consistories, as the top.
We were also asked to consider 1 Corinthians 12:12-14
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Emphasis during the webinar was also placed on the idea that every delegate should contribute. Even “new” delegates who have never been to a General Synod before, like me, should fully participate and share their views.
There is a 269 page workbook that has been provided for the Synod. We were all encouraged, multiple times, to read the workbook (“skim through once quickly, and then go back and read it more thoroughly”). I have done the skim through part already, spending more time on parts that looked interesting. This week I’m going to start reading through the entire workbook more thoroughly, making notes as I go.
The Synod is a five-day event, with morning, afternoon, and evening work sessions interspersed with worship and workshops. Since I’m going to have to report back to the Consistory of Old Saratoga as well as the Schenectady Classis, I thought it would be helpful to “blog” about it. This will also serve the purpose of keeping the church and anyone interested up-to-date on what I’m doing and what I think about it. Since this is my first effort at blogging, we’ll have to see how well it works.
Please pray for me and the church.