Grace Reformed Church has finished hosting the 270th Synod of the Reformed Church in the United States. The meeting went very well. Delegates came from churches located in various parts of the country. In Reformed church government, we have three levels of authority. The first is the at the local level called the Spiritual Council, comprised of the Elders and the Pastor. Most protestant churches are not governed by Elders, which is odd since the Bible clearly supports the concept of Elder rule (1 Tim. 3, Tit. 1).
The second level is referred to as the Classis (called a presbytery by Presbyterians). The Class is a regional assembly comprised of two delegates from each church in the Classis. Each church sends a pastor and one of its elders to an annual meeting. Classis usually takes up the important matter of examining and ordaining men for the ministry of the Word. Every minister is accountable to Classis and the local elder and must give a report of his labors at the Classis meeting. There are currently four Classes in the RCUS.
The third is the Synod, the national assembly. Here each church in the denomination sends two delegates to the annual Synod meeting. This meeting currently tends to go about four days. It is a wonderful time of fellowship for the brethren. Each day begins with morning devotions. And two worships service are scheduled during the meeting in the evenings (Monday and Wednesday). In the meeting itself we made decisions concerning missions works, both home and abroad. We took up matters related to financing the commitments we have made. We received reports from delegates of other Reformed denominations and institutions. And among many other matters, we also established a committee to take up the matter of Two-Kingdoms doctrine, which concerns the relationship of the church to the broader culture. Another committee is mandated to study the matter of cremation and bring back their counsel at the 271st meeting of Synod.
All in all it was good meeting. For myself, I am very grateful to God for Reformed Church government. I appreciate the spirit in which matters were carried out, the maturity of the brethren, along with the evident unity and desire to reach the lost with the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.
Rev. Tracy Gruggett