The battle for the church will never stop (Synod 2012)

At the closing session, Rev. Scheuers awarded his colleague and friend Rev. Ralph Pontier the “jack-in-the-box” award for his frequent verbal contributions during Synod 2012. Rev. John Bouwers looks on as Rev. Pontier tries his prize.

The introduction to this series of news reports about Synod Nyack 2012 compared Synod to a young adult, settling into positive patterns and making wise decisions. Each of the four synods I have observed demonstrated increasing maturity and unity, and these characteristics were more obvious this year.

One of the reasons for the maturity and unity certainly was an agenda that, while containing items that generated vigorous debate, did not include any divisive theological issues.

Another contributing factor was the convening consistory’s preparation, particularly for the work of advisory committees, which included implementing technology that facilitated uniform recording of information and smooth dissemination of it.

An important aspect of the smoothness of Synod Nyack resided in the delegates themselves, who seemed more experienced, better prepared, and paid greater attention to the discussions than at earlier synods. Few wasted valuable time by repeating previous speakers or with other unnecessary remarks.

The chairmanship of Rev. Ronald Scheuers contributed significantly to the smooth functioning of Synod Nyack 2012. His years of experience and knowledge of church polity gave him the necessary wisdom for difficult on-the-spot judgments, while his humility and compassion softened his admonitions and warmed his encouragements.

In his closing remarks, Rev. Scheuers noted that he had served 21 years in another church where synodical meetings were dreaded because “we always had to fight to try to maintain the reason, basis, and purpose for all that we did. We fought to maintain faithfulness to the Word of God.”

“The battle for the church will never stop,” he continued, “but it is such a tremendous joy to fight it side by side with you, who mutually love the truth and are willing to lay down your lives for it.”

“To that end I wish to comfort you and assure you with the truth that because Christ has purchased you, He will always preserve you. You are His sheep, and not one of His sheep will ever be stolen from His care. Go then to your homes, churches, and places of service with that confidence in Christ.”

Although the battle for the church will never stop, Rev. Ron Scheuers in his closing remarks encouraged delegates to go forward in service with the “confidence of Christ.”

This is the final news report by Glenda Mathes on the URCNA Synod 2012. This concluding article appeared on page 18 of the July 11, 2012, issue of Christian Renewal.

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