GS 1986 art 195

GS 1986 ARTICLE 195


The vice-chairman, Rev. Cl. Stam, speaks words of gratitude to the chairman, Rev. M. van Beveren. He thanks the chairman for the way he has given leadership and chaired the meetings. On behalf of the members of synod he presents to the chairman a lasting symbol of the appreciation. He wishes the chairman the Lord’s blessing in the future.

The chairman addresses synod with the following words:

”The eleventh General Synod of  our churches is coming to a close. We are thankful to the Lord that He enabled us to do the work to which the churches called us. He took care of us and gave physical and mental strength to complete our task.

For twenty days we have intensively been involved in the process of making deci­sions. We can testify that the members of synod were dedicated to their task, each one using his personal talents. In many cases the brethren made overtime by work­ ing late at night after the closing of evening sessions. Sure, there have been signs of strain, especially at the end of a week. But we can be thankful that none of the members was incapacitated by a breakdown or illness.

We may also mention with thankfulness that the brotherly spirit and cooperation prevailed even when discussions were tense and a unanimous decision could not be reached. Such a brotherly unity is a gift from the Lord who is the Builder of the church. At the beginning of every session we have asked the Lord that he might give us His guidance and wisdom. When we, listening to His Word in obedience, have tried to the utmost of our abilities to work for the upbuilding of His Church, we can leave the result of our work to Him. He will use our efforts and labour to the glorification of His Name, and we can be comforted by His Word that it is not by power nor by might, and not by human wisdom that His church is built, but by His Spirit. His ways are higher than our ways . Through faith in that Word, brotherly spirit could prevail even when sometimes personal views were not in line with the conviction of the majority.

An important event which we should mention is that synod appointed a professor of New Testament at our college who is to take the place of Prof. L. Selles. It was an impressive moment when Rev . J. Geertsema informed synod that he had decid­ ed to accept the appointment. We could express our gratitude to the Lord that He provided for the continuation of the training for the ministry.

We enjoyed the presence of the fraternal delegate from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, the Rev. G.D. Jerrell of New Mexico. We could share with him our concerns about the future of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, but also assure him of our joy about the faithfulness to the Scripture which is found in his churches.

It is impossible to elaborate on the many happy moments during this synod. There was room for fun and laughter. It would be tempting to act as a monitor who would survey the behaviour and personal peculiarities of each of you. But I think we already heard too many jokes, especially about the chairman.

I thank you for bearing with me. If as chairman I ruled too strictly or too leniently over you, let it be your comfort that if I did not do so deliberately, I did it innocently. From my fellow-officers I received all the assistance and cooperation I could expect, for which I am thankful.

Great appreciation should be expressed to the convening church, firstly for the ex­cellent preparation of synod. We certainly do not blame the convening church for the fact that some documents reached the delegates late. In most cases the cause was to be found in the early date of this synod, and the convening church did its utmost to diminish the inconvenience.

Then, during synod, we received the outstanding care of the ladies of the congrega­tion. We cannot mention all those sisters who served us so well , but an exception should be made for Mrs. E. Dykema and Mrs. J. Mulder, who organized the meals and refreshments to the satisfaction of all. The faithful help of Mr.  and Mrs. A. Buist as caretakers of the church did not go unnoticed. And we cannot forget the hospitality we received in the Burlington congregation.

That we have been together in weakness will be apparent when the Acts will be published. But we also worked while having the promise of our God that our labour is not in vain in the Lord. That is why we can depart in gratitude and leave for our homes and for the tasks that await us in the congregations knowing that He will fulfill His purpose for us and for His churches.

May the Lord be with you. Thank you.”

The vice-chairman requests that Psalm 135:1, 6 , and 9 be sung, and leads in thanksgiv­ing and prayer to the Lord.

General Synod of Burlington West of 1986 is closed.

By order of Synod,

  • M. van Beveren, chairman
  • Cl. Stam, vice-chairman
  • W. Pouwelse, first clerk
  • W. Huizinga, second clerk