General Synod - Day 5 - Synod decisions

After much debate, synod responded to the committee's recommendation against the overture to end dialogue. They agreed with the committee to continue dialogue by a 120-98 vote.

Then the overture to amend the purpose of dialogue came up. Informal discussions before this with like-minded men led us to coordinate our efforts on this one as the most feasible. Committee had recommended against this overture, but synod rejected it! In other words, they were open to the overture, saying we aren't reconsidering the righteousness of homosexual practice. Vote was 118-99.

In our polity, this did NOT mean that the overture was accepted, but that NOTHING was now on the floor. The overture's author then got up and immediately moved a similar motion, but with slightly less strong wording, to get the most votes possible, he told me later. I wanted him to simply move the whole overture, but it turned out he was right. It was defeated 102-116. This meant the synod didn't want to reject or accept the overture. Seems contradictory, or they just didn't want to deal with it (leave it to the dialogue process?).

Lots of other committee business I'll report later...


  1. At this point I am finding this GS one of the least positive for the sake of the gospel that I have seen.

    One question. Did someone get to read the statement from the conservatives on what we believe, or was that shunted to the sidelines as well?

  2. Rileysowner, could you please elaborate on your statement: "At this point I am finding this GS one of the least positive for the sake of the gospel that I have seen." That is serious satement, could you please explain it fully...either here or on your blog?

    Thanks for the reports, Steve.

    Blessings, RogueMonk

  3. My personal sentiment is that nothing was done to truly move the "dialog" away from debating whether homosexual behavior is sinful or not.

    I believe the motion passed was the following:

    To strengthen the unity and health of the RCA by providing an
    intentional, church-wide dialogue that:
    1.Enables us to better understand [deleting: "and appreciate"] how
    others within the RCA family interpret scriptures related to homosexuality and understand the role of homosexuals within the life of the church.
    2.Strengthens the ability of RCA congregations to minister to and with
    homosexuals [inserting: "while respecting them as persons"].

    I personally do not find that substatially different from the original dialog proposal that was found on the RCA website.

    Second, the declaring of the overture from California as out of order seems to simply be a way of brushing the issue of the UCC under the rug. How can we claim full communion with a fellowship that includes Unitarian Universalist congregations, much less their stance on "open and affirming churches"?

    Finally, I am also deeply bothered by the doing of business on Sunday. No call for it at all.

    There was probably more, but frankly for the last 8 years or so I have watched the conservative evangelicals rejoice over little steps while watching big steps in the opposite directions. I don't see much different in this GS, and I don't see any of it improving our ability to proclaim the gospel.

    Just my two cents worth.

    P.S. -- I still have not head if the statement on the homosexuality from the RCA: In Dialogue site was allowed to be read. If not, that is yet another thing that gets my goat when the "Find Norm innocent or hold us accountable too" group was allowed to read their statement last year. If it was allowed, I would see that as another positive.

  4. The We Believe statement WAS read, and entered into the minutes.

    The motion Rileysowner quotes is not the one I note in my post. The one I noted was defeated. The next day, the motion you quote was put forward and passed by a large majority. We considered it a small victory at the time, as it moves from seeking appreciation for other views to respect for other views.

    After considering, I agree with Rileysowner that this changed little. Also agree on everything else you say re: GS in your comments above.

    Disappointing and disillusioning for a first-time delegate. There is lots of spin and positive remarks regarding other areas of synod to try to put these areas of disobedience in the shadows.

  5. I am thankful that the "We Believe" statement was read and entered into the minutes. Thanks for passing that on.