>URCNA Synod-3, Canadian Night

>When Synod went back to plenary session this evening, Chairman Ralph Pontier joked that the initial reports coming from Advisory Committees would be designated in honor of our Canadian hosts and the country in which we were meeting, for example, “Six, eh” (6-A).

It’s not unusual for these initial reports to be referred back to committee for additional work and that happened to a recommendation advocating the formation of a study committee to evaluate the need for a part-time/full-time or volunteer missions coordinator. Synod asked the committee to formulate a mandate for the study committee and include budget recommendations.

The recommendation to extend terms of service for CECCA members was tabled temporarily until an overture dealing with rules of procedure has been addressed, since that overture could have implications for the recommendation.

The Advisory Committee recommended and Synod acceded to the request to relieve Cornerstone URC of Hudsonville, MI, from the responsibilities associated with publishing a federational missions newsletter. The Stated Clerk will draft a letter thanking Mr. Don Van Dyke and Mrs. Cheryl Doll as well as the council of Cornerstone for their work on “The Trumpet.” Synod immediately sought a replacement and accepted West Sayville’s offer to take over the responsibility of publishing a federational mission newsletter.

Discussion ramped up when the Advisory Committee dealing with the Report of the Psalter Hymnal Committee recommended: “Synod 2010 affirms that the official songbook will be purchased and used by all URCNA churches.”

Several verbs proposed as amendments to replace “will be” were ruled out of order by the chair since they significantly altered the intent of the recommendation. Rev. Joel Dykstra judged that the recommendation “contravenes Art. 39 of the Church Order.” The Chair ruled that it did not do so and that his motion was out of order.

Jon Bouwers offered the amendment that was finally accepted: “Synod 2010 affirmd production of a new songbook which will be purchased and used by all the churches.”

After less than two hours of work, delegates paused in their consideration of Advisory Committee recommendations to hear the CanRC fraternal delegate, Rev. Den Hollander, urge the brothers to “continue to keep the unity of the Spirit” and keep focused on “continued commitment to ecclesiastical unity.”

Following his speech, Dr. Gerhard Visscher and Dr. Jason Van Vliet (professors at the Theological College of the Canadian Reformed Churches) answered questions that had been previously submitted from URCNA churches and then answered questions from the floor.

Chairman Pontier concluded the evening by relating that he’d had very little interaction with Canadian Reformed people for the first thirty years of his ministry until he accepted the call to Neerlandia. Now his auto mechanic, his plumber, and the clerks in the store are all warm, godly people who are members of Canadian Reformed congregations.

Synod will meet again in a brief plenary session at 8:00 AM, followed by Advisory Committee meetings for the remainder of the morning. Regular plenary session is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.

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