Press Release #1 – July 27, 2010
The Seventh Synod of the United Reformed Churches in North America convened on Tuesday morning, July 27, 2010, on the campus of the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. As the chairman pro tem, Rev. Dennis Royall, led the opening devotions, the delegates sang heartily from Psalm 87 about the glory of Zion, the Church of God. This was the same text that had been expounded at the prayer service on the previous night.
The roll call of delegates revealed that 180 men from 98 churches were in attendance. One of the first matters of business was the ratification of the following four churches as new members of the federation: Covenant Reformed Church, Carbondale, PA, First United Reformed Church, Oak Lawn, IL, Redeemer Reformation Church, Regina, SK, Trinity United Reformed Church, Visalia, CA. We praise God for this joyful task. The election of officers resulted in Rev. Ralph Pontier serving as chairman. This is the second synod in which he has held this position. Rev. Ronald Scheuers was chosen as the vice-chairman. The first and second clerks are Rev. Douglas Barnes and Rev. Bradd Nymeyer, respectively.
Throughout the rest of the morning and afternoon, the delegates met in Advisory Committees, working on recommendations for how the delegates could best serve God and the churches in the various matters placed on the over 500-page agenda.
When the delegates convened for the evening session they took up a number of issues regarding the work of missions. A study committee was appointed to evaluate the need for a part/full-time volunteer mission’s coordinator.
Synod dealt with the matter of affirming the production of an official federational songbook. The body sought to encourage the Songbook Committee to continue its work affirming “the production of an official songbook, which will be purchased and used by all URCNA churches.”
Following the greetings of Rev. William den Hollander, the fraternal delegate from the Canadian Reformed Churches, the night was concluded with a presentation by two other ministers from that federation, Dr. Gerhard Visscher and Dr. Jason Van Vliet, professors at the Theological College of the Canadian Reformed Churches. They effectively and graciously answered many questions that were put to them regarding the beliefs and practices of the Canadian Reformed Churches. The time was useful in the continuing process of our two federations getting to know and appreciate each other as brothers and sisters in the Lord who share a like precious faith.
Synod recessed for the night at 10:15 p.m.