Opening address to FRCA Synod, West Kelmscott, Western Australia
by Rev Veldman, Chairman of the convening church of West Kelmscott
Monday 10th July 2006, Synod West Kelmscott, Western Australia, 2006
(Acts Article 1)
On behalf of the convening church of West Kelmscott, it's my privilege and pleasure in the first place to extend a hearty welcome to those who have been delegated to this synod both by Classis North as well as Classis South. With the increased number of churches within the region of Classis South in particular and with some of the vacancies filled, this will be the first synod, at which not all ministers will be present. Next, for three ministers within the bond, this synod will be a first. Therefore, we extend a special welcome to Rev. R. Eikelboom, Rev. E. Rupke, and J. Smith.
Next to the 16 delegates representing the churches, we also extend a hearty welcome to all our overseas guests, who create quite an international mix. I welcome them all, even though some will arrive later during the course of this synod.
Going through the list of these overseas guests, for the first time in the history of the Free Reformed Churches of Australia, we may welcome two Korean delegates. In the past, many synods have expressed the desire to improve contact with the PCK and to strengthen ties. As result of mutual endeavors, Br. Maurice Bruning on behalf of the FRCA, could attend the 54th General Assembly of the PCK in 2004, whilst today we may welcome as representatives of the PCK, Prof Yoo and Rev. Jun. Prof Yoo is fluent in his English and even in Dutch. For his doctor thesis, he studied at the Theological University of our sister churches in Kampen, in The Netherlands. Again, a hearty welcome Prof. Yoo. Rev. Jun hopes to arrive tomorrow, the Lord willing.
From South Africa, we would have liked to welcome Rev. M. Retief, not only as a representative from the FRSA, but he also has been found willing to serve in the vacant church of Kelmscott for at least three months. Unfortunately, at present Rev. Retief has still difficulties in obtaining a visa for him and his family. Hence, he has not arrived yet.
Going down the list of overseas guests, we are accustomed to having delegates from our sister churches in The Netherlands. They attend quite regularly. This time we welcome Rev. J. Plug, who is true Aussie by blood and Rev. P Niemeijer. For Rev. Niemeijer, it's his first time down under. He was the chairman of the last General Synod of our sister churches. Also the Reformed Churches continuing have sent a delegation to this synod, namely the brothers P Drijfhout and J, Houweling. We welcome them as well.
From our sister churches in Canada, the Brothers H. Hoogstra and H. Leyenhorst have been delegated, the Lord willing they will join us later during the course of this week. Finally, as representative from our sister churches in Indonesia we welcome Rev. Yan, who is in Australia already for quite some time, to familiarize himself with the English language as well as with church life within the Free Reformed Churches. He also follows some theological studies with some of the ministers.
This is quite a list of overseas guests. We hope that we may benefit from your presence, especially when reports regarding the churches you represent are discussed. May the Lord grant that when discussing these reports also then true unity is found, based on Scripture and the Confessions to which we mutually have subscribed..
When the church of West Kelmscott was appointed as convening church, at Synod Rockingham 2003 we had the strong hope that by the year 2006 we surely would have been able to welcome all of you in our own church building. Yet it turned out differently. We are thankful though that after many obstacles have been overcome the building project has finally started. For those who are interested, you can either go there in person or look at the Web Page of the FRCWK to see just how this project is progressing. Meanwhile, we thank the Free Reformed Church of Armadale for making their church building available, including the Gong, to host this synod. We have had a committee working hard behind the scenes to prepare this synod, coping well with all the logistics involved. It's a hard working team, that wants sincerely to care for all the delegates and guests as best as they can during the coming fortnight.
One more I extend a hearty welcome to all delegates and overseas guests. Let us now begin the actual work of synod and let us do so in harmony, the harmony as expressed in Palm 133. Let us sing the rhymed version of this psalm.
last updated 21 Jul 2006