Listening Together

A NOTE FROM THE INTERIM GENERAL SECRETARY

Dear friends,

Thank you for your willingness to participate in Listening Together, the conversation that was proposed by our former general secretary, Tom De Vries, and passed by the 2017 General Synod as R 17-18. This process was developed by a diverse group of pastors, elders, regional synod executives, General Synod Council members, and denominational staff. It is my hope that as you navigate through these pages your conversations are centered around our biblical call of covenant, as we seek the future for the Reformed Church in America.

As outlined by the proposal, this conversation broadly focuses on three questions:

1. How do we understand the biblical calling to live together in a unity of fellowship and love for one another?

2. Are we willing to see the Reformed Church in America embark on a serious division, and what is our part in bringing reconciliation and restoration?

3. What do we believe is God’s intended future for the Reformed Church in America?

We have put together a step-by-step guide, both for participants and facilitators, to walk you through this conversational process. If you would like additional help, facilitation resources are available. Classis presidents and regional executives have been asked to choose an initial facilitator from their area to lead this conversation.

To be frank, we need your help to do this well. The short turn-around time between General Synod 2017 and the first fall stated sessions means that we have been pulling out every stop to create a faithful, effective process. The success of this will also require your engagement, and your encouragement of others to engage. The more people who deeply consider these questions together, and the more voices that are heard, the more feedback we will have to offer to General Synod 2018. Each participant who agrees to engage with the process will be asked to engage fully, including the preparatory work, the different sections of the process, and the surveys. We hope you will prayerfully consider this invitation, count the cost, and say “yes” to Listening Together to God and to one another.

If, after participating in Listening Together, you feel called to lead a conversation in another setting, I would like to encourage you to take this process into your community. Facilitation resources are available to walk you through each step of the process and leaders from across the denomination will be available to you and will be praying for you along the way.

I am grateful for our continued desire to seek a new path forward—to imagine and wrestle with God’s call to us as the Reformed Church in America.

In his service,

Don Poest
Interim general secretary