Reformed Church Center Looks at the Great Lakes Catechism
The RCA General Synod of 2018 voted “To commend the Great Lakes Catechism on Marriage and Sexuality for reflection, study, and response by the Commission on Theology and RCA churches and classes as a means of deepening our understanding of the biblical teaching on human sexuality and finding a pathway forward toward unity in mission and ministry” (OV 18-21, MGS 2018, p. 148). This action raises issues for the church and its assemblies, not only in the area of human sexuality, but over the theological and biblical integrity of this catechism as well as how and when we amend the Standards of the Reformed Church in America, which have only been changed once in the last 400 years.
On Tuesday, 15 January 2019, from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm, the Reformed Church Center will host “Looking at the Great Lakes Catechism”, a time to help office-bearers and congregations review this document and consider their responses to the General Synod in its ongoing discussions. We will have five presentations on the Catechism from experts within the RCA, looking at it from their own disciplines:
|Tricia Sheffield holds degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and Drew University, and currently serves as pastor and teacher of Middletown (New Jersey) Reformed Church. She has taught religion and gender theory at the college level, and most recently was the Lilly Visiting Scholar in Religious and Gender Studies at Austin College in Sherman, Texas.|
|Matthew van Maastricht is the pastor at Altamont, New York and teaches the Reformed standards and church polity for Western and New Brunswick Theological Seminaries. He is a doctoral candidate at the Free University of Amsterdam and General Editor of The Congregational History Series of the Reformed Church in America.|
|Dwayne Jackson, Co-pastor, Second Reformed Church, Hackensack, NJ|
|Christopher Dorn is a biblical and liturgical scholar who resides in Holland, Michigan. He currently serves as chair of Christians Uniting in Song and Prayer, an interdenominational organization in Holland dedicated to promoting and practicing worship that embodies the best of the catholic tradition. He preaches regularly at First Presbyterian Church in Ionia and Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Holland.|
|Micah McCreary is President of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Virginia Union University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. A pastor and pastoral counselor, his areas of specialization include the intergration of spirituality and psychology and the influence of culture upon health.|
The rest of our time will be spent in conversation around the Catechism and issues raised by our presenters. Participants may prepare by reviewing the Catechism, which is found at http://images.rca.org/docs/synod/GLCatechism.pdf.
Everyone is welcome to attend this day-long program. The suggested donation for lunch (which is free for all seminarians) is $10.00, but all will be fed regardless of their ability to pay. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, 9 January.