July / August 2012
Summer is here, and with it the hot temperatures. It seems, though, as if we were having a different kind of a hot summer as well. With Stef and Erie Beemsterboer announcing their family’s return to the Netherlands, and with General Synod declaring support for gay and lesbian fellow Christians a “disciplinable offense” it is not easy to stay cool.
Thanks be to God, we have good structures here at First Reformed Church! They allow us to deal with these adversities in good and orderly ways. Consistory and Finance Committee will meet on July 5 in order to reorganize the personnel situation in our Finance Department. And on July 22, we plan on inviting everybody after worship for a gathering in order to discuss the situation as created by General Synod. Since members from the New Brunswick Collegiate Churches have asked to take part, this meeting will be a collegiate gathering.
This is, however, only one side of the coin. The other is the human situation. Please pray for the Beemsterboer family at this time of heavy transition. They need all the love and support that we as a church family can provide. We will miss them terribly, and wish them every blessing possible.
Please pray as well for all of us who are deeply disturbed by the ruling of General Synod. This does not just pertain to our congregational leaders who have taken an open and affirming stance. Much more important is the question how this message from General Synod will be received by the gay and lesbian Christians in our midst. We preach inclusiveness, tolerance and diversity, and yet we represent a denomination that is denying these values on this particular issue. Let us pray that people will not equate this misguided human ruling with the message of Jesus Christ! And let us continue to strive for an ever more comprehensive realization of God’s love in this world.
With fond wishes,