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Synod Preview 2017

31. May 2017

Features, Agency Features, Synod,

  —Drew Gordon

Recent Synods have worked to make the business of Synod more efficient and effective, partly in the hope of requiring less time of delegates and making it feasible for more ruling elders to attend.

This is a year that will test the practicality of shorter Synods, as there is a mountain of work to handle in a three-day schedule, including some very important issues.

The list of special committee and judicial committee reports alone is daunting. When Synod convenes at 8:30 a.m. June 28 at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind., the following reports will be among the priority items:

Special Committee on Vocalized Prayer

Special Committee Addressing Ruling Elder Participation at Synod

Special Study Committee on Gender Identity

Special Committee on the Mediatorial Kingship of Christ (interim report)

Judicial Review of Communication 2016-2: complaint by members of a session and presbytery regarding the beverage used in the communion cup

Judicial Review of Communication 2016-4: appeal of a presbytery’s actions by a retired RP minister

All these committees have been working for at least a year, and their reports are very thorough; so the time needed by Synod to consider them will depend on how much further discussion and debate is required.

There are plenty of regular reports for Synod to consider as well, with some significant recommendations. The RPCNA’s work with countries beyond the U.S. and Canada continues to increase. The RP Seminary is proposing a new candidate for Professor of Biblical Counseling (to replace, next year, the retiring George Scipione). The Interchurch and Business of Synod Committees are asking Synod to meet at Geneva College in 2019 to better enable the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church to meet concurrently with the RPCNA. Also, there are at least four new “communications” coming from presbyteries for Synod action.

Synod is scheduled to adjourn at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 30.

As always, daily roundups of Synod news will be posted to
during Synod week, and other news and photos will be posted to the RPCNA Synod page on Facebook.