From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
CRC Synod to Vote on Ministerial Candidates Individually
Worldwide Faith News <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tue, 15 Jun 2004 22:40:40 -0700
Grand Rapids, Mich. - Synod 2004 voted today to return to the practice of
voting on potential candidates for ministry individually.
Synod started voting for candidates individually rather than as a group in
1998 out of respect for delegates whose consciences will not permit them to
vote for female candidates.
Last year, synod changed this process and voted on the candidates as one
group. This year, in response to two overtures and a personal appeal, a
synodical committee recommended that synod return to voting on candidates
Calvin Theological Seminary examines ministerial candidates individually and
then submits their names to synod as a group.
"Voting for the candidates as a group forces some delegates to abstain - or
vote no - on all of the candidates. This is something they should not have
do," said Ecko DeVries (Classis Grand Rapids South), the reporter for the
Raymond Blacketer of Classis Alberta North agreed. "I believe wholeheartedly
in women in office, but I don't agree with running rough-shod over the
consciences of people who disagree with me," he said.
Others held a different opinion. "We don't know these candidates
individually," said David Vander Haagen of Classis Lake Erie. "We only know
that they have completed their degree requirements and have been approved by
the Board of Calvin Seminary. They have studied together, worked together,
worshipped together, laughed together, and mourned together. They ought to
The recommendation to vote on candidates individually was approved in a 100
Other decisions today included a proposal to change article 36A of the Church
Order to say that councils, consistories and diaconates shall "ordinarily"
meet at least once a month. It will be presented to Synod 2005 for final
adoption. Synod also approved various faculty re-appointments at Calvin
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