We just voted to appoint Rev. Tom DeVries as General Secretary of the RCA. I was very pleased with the way our morning session went. Yesterday, in advisory committees, there was a lack of information about Tom's thoughts and positions on some key issues in the life of the RCA. Tom had the opportunity to address those issues this morning, to the pleasure of many who had questions.
One minor disappointment I had was with the failure of an amendment that was offered on the floor: for the General Synod to approve the extension of Tom's contract after 6 years, or two of the "super reviews" that the GSC conducts of the general secretary. This would have been an important opportunity to affirm Tom's work from time to time, in much the same was that the synod was asked to affirm his selection in the first place. The BCO places responsibility for review of the general secretary in the hands of the GSC, which is where it belongs. But the BCO also places the responsibility of choosing the general secretary with the GSC, yet the Synod is asked to officially approve the appointment. What would be the harm in allowing the gathered delegates of the church the opportunity to hear a recommendation from the GSC about continuing the general secretary's contract, and then to either approve or disapprove? It would seem that is a responsibility that should be the General Synod's, not the GSC.
That being said, much gratitude should go to the GSC and the search committee for the time and energy that was spent on discerning the right candidate for the job. They have done tremendous work, and today we are celebrating the fruit of their labor and the affirmation of God's call. Congratulations, Tom. I look forward to working with you!