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As I reflect upon the synod of 1969 from the perspective of the present time, it seems to me that the issues confronting the synod were simply very intense expressions of a perennial basic issue that confronts every denomination to varying degrees. That is the issue of inclusion vs. exclusion. While all traditions have to deal with this issue, this issue is exacerbated in the Reformed Church by the theology and size of our denomination. Thirty-five years ago we were still dealing with the race issue, which afflicted our nation from its very beginning. We were and to some degree still are dealing with to what extent women will be included in the ministries of the church. We were dealing with the challenge of offering support, affirmation, and comfort to those who for reasons of conscience or out of profound sense of injustice dissented from national political policy. The inclusion/exclusion issue is particularly alive today in our denomination and others in the area of sexual identity. Then, as now, the reactions and relationships of contemporary church and society at times seemed to be driven more by fear than by faith.
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