One of the early surprises when reading the workbook has to do with the responsibilities of the delegates. My initial feeling is that I will be there to represent my Classis and Consistor as their representative. Bound by what I believe is their will. The following excerpt redefines my purpose:
- “Because office-bearers receive their authority from Christ and are responsible first of all to the Lord of the church, they primarily represent Christ to the church and world. They can be said to represent their churches, consistories, classes, and synods in at most a secondary sense. Delegates’ votes and consciences cannot be bound by their sending bodies.”
I found that interesting.
This morning (Thursday, June 11), I joined Rev. Janet Meyer-Vincent from Bacon Hill and Kit Jackson from Altamont in our classis, and about 5 others from the Synod of Albany on our flight to Chicago. From O’Hare we were shuttled eventually to Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois. The trip was uneventful, but on each leg of the journey we were joined by more and more delegates for the General Synod. It was fun and exciting to meet so many people on a trip with a common destination and purpose.
The first Plenary started at 3 p.m. and was mostly just reports from each of the RCA seminaries/colleges and the professorate. There were some uneventful votes having to do with amendments to the BCO from previous synods and one denial of an overture from a classis. That had to do with Commissioned Pastors supervising Consistories and I went with the recommendation from the synod group that reviewed the issue. There was some dissent and ended up with about 60/40 split for approval.
Tonight after dinner is a first worship service. I’m looking forward to it; it will be a much larger group than I am used to. I’ve posted some initial pictures on our facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/OldSaratogaReformedChurch?fref=ts). You should check that out. When you see the pictures, I’m seated at table 23 with a Women’s Delegate from the Regional Synod of Albany plus two ministers and two other Elder delegates from Michigan and Iowa. They mix us up at the tables.