COSE (Council of Synod Executives) met at a cozy Beach House in San Juan Capistrano (Jan 29-Feb 1). We invited Trisha Taylor and Jim Herrington as facilitators who have worked extensively with the RCA’s Ridder initiative and Faith Walking. They provided a path and wisdom for our conversations and guided us to better understand how we can more faithfully listen, communicate and clean up relational messes. OK… a kind of group therapy! It was timely and well received in the midst of all the confusion and divisions in the RCA and its various classes.
There is diversity… and has been diversity… and always will be. But foremost, we are Christ-followers and called to a way of relating to be honest, direct, and respectful. However the RCA goes in the future, we want the process to be God-honoring.
Here is a link to what COSE is saying to the church about our understandings and commitments:
FYI…..COSE is a unique group in the RCA in that there is nothing in the BCO that calls us together. We come together because as “middle-managers” in the RCA, we have many common issues and challenges. We are also a group the denominational staff look to for in the effective implementation of their programs and initiatives. We choose to work together for the benefit of the congregations and classes we are both called and committed to serve.
COSE has requested and received permission to address the GSC directly on March 21 in Phoenix with some of our major concerns. We will be setting before the GSC some specific action steps COSE believes would help our churches.
A growing number of congregations are leaving the RCA with its actions and inactions. There are some classes having conversations about leaving as a group. Some congregations are forming affiliations with other denominations. We are approaching such a critical time in our denomination, such that there has been discussion in one region about leaving the RCA. We do not believe the GSC is aware of what our current realities are around the edges of our regions and classes. Please be praying for the COSE team as we address GSC.