Dear 2016 General Synod,

“The gays.”


“A cancer.”



These are some of the words you used to describe LGBTQ+ people. They are not the words we use to describe ourselves. But you, who cannot be bothered to Google or ask, insist that you love us. Not only that, you demand that you be the ones to decide who and how we love, that you get to set the limits of our desire, that our very belonging in Christ’s Church is yours to determine. That, or you will leave.

You soothed your souls with one last proclamation, but from my perspective, you left us long ago.

In love and pain,


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Larry Dominick says:

    It confuses me that in government we are TOLD what is acceptable whether you like it or not. I never thought God fearing people would dictate what IS acceptable…whether you like it or not.
    Especially when people are the subject of this acceptance… They are PEOPLE… I’m an outsider. Neither gay nor religious.. So what an I missing here RCA…???

  2. Chelsea says:

    You’ve said so much in so few words. Thank you for your work.

  3. Liam Battjes says:

    At General Synod, I sang the song “I am at Home,” in which I asserted that I am at Home in the body of Christ. But I would also assert, my dear Stacie, that the body of Christ is not a denomination. The Love of God incarnated within human community would be my definition of the body of Christ. This leaves me with great appreciation for you and others who are the body of Christ, and a grief for the collective RCA as it stumbles in being the body of Moses or at least legalistic meanness. My heart is heavy because my exile from the RCA has been long and has contributed to my current homeless state and separation from my children. On the other hand, how I’ve experienced the body of Christ at Fowler Camp, Hope Church in Holland, or Room for All has soothed my soul and fanned the embers of faith. I trust you know places and people who soothe your soul and keep your faith alive — yes! The body of Christ.

  4. David Vandervelde says:

    I have searched for the “cancer” reference in the livestream and have not been able to find it. Could you point to the reference–what time or timestamp–was this made? The only references to “cancer” that I could find were on Wednesday, just past the 1:31 mark of the livestream (both times it seems that the referant of the “cancer” was those who oppose SSM, although its hard to exactly tell). Here they are:

    Ruth Hawley-Lowry, Holland Classis – “It feels like this motion, as lovely as it is, puts a band-aid on cancer, so I am going to vote against it.”

    Donna Field, corresponding delegate Regional Synod of New York Women – “It merely, as somebody has already stated, has put a band-aid on a raging cancer”


    Blessings, David

    1. capitaleats says:

      I really don’t have the time to listen to GS all over again to find the reference, and frankly I was traumatized enough hearing it once. I can tell you that it was a minister delegate from the Classis of Orange who said it, and that he was obstreperous throughout GS. Given the number of outbursts he was allowed, it may not have even been said on Monday. He called LGBTQ people a cancer on the church.

      The references you list are not referring to *people* as cancer, they are using a metaphor to describe the futility of that final nod to the humanity and dignity of LGBTQ people, after so much of GS had denied it.

    2. David – It was Rev. Brian Randazzo, Classis of Orange, speaking during the Monday afternoon (starting at 3:20 pm) session. During the livestream, it begins at time stamp – 1:21:48.
      Rev. Randazzo (1:21:48): “this is not artificial. The Bible says this is sin! Am I right or am I wrong? It says clearly, black and white, this is sin!

      President Veermeer (1:21:55): “Please address the chair”

      Rev. Randazzo: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’ll keep my eyes focused this way. Let me put on my glasses. This is sin! And, and, it’s not artificial, so why are we saying it doesn’t exist? (1:22:06) It’s in the Bible, and that’s what a majority, I believe, of us believe. Now yes, we don’t hate each other, and we’re not saying we’re not saved, no body is saying that. And that’s why this motion talks about maybe two camps, (1:22:20) that work side by side but, but, are different. (1:22:24) ***you can’t work together when you have this CANCER between us. And there’s, uh, a CANCER between us, and it’s called sin. And that’s what we feel the Bible is saying on this issue and and I’m sorry, the Bible says what it is, and that’s why we have a problem. That’s the issue…**** [Rev. Randazzo ran out of time].

      As an LGBTQ person, Rev. Randazzo equated part of who I am; made in the image of God, to that of a “cancer”. While some may disagree that my queer identity is not, in fact, part of who I am, I will argue that what I have experienced, as a person who is gay and experiences same-sex attraction, IS who I am – it is how I experience life, how I experience my Creator, and how I experience the world around me. It is through those experiences (and others) that I have come to know a God of justice, of love, of righteousness, and of mercy. While Rev. Randazzo (and you) may not think that I was being referred to as cancer, the fact remains that as an LGBTQ person who embodies the very thing that was called cancer – a horrific disease that a close relative of mine just passed away from – it is utterly disgusting to me that a Minister of the gospel would call for my extraction and destruction, as we would for cancer.

      Additionally: the two references from Revs. Hawley-Lowry & Field are referring to something completely different. In this case, both delegates were referring to the sheer evil that had taken place at Synod (done, in large part by Rev. Randazzo in calling for the extraction of faithful LGBTQ people and our allies) – evil that IS, in my opinion, rightly equated with cancer. There might be other references, but seeing as Synod did not meet on a Wednesday, I have no timestamps to reference, despite your request that we produce our own.

      Grace and Peace,

      1. David Vandervelde says:

        Thanks for locating that reference. Appreciated!

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