March 8, 2013 — Canadian ministries, senior leadership transitions, ministry realignment, Faith Alive, Calvin College, budget and finance—the Board of Trustees tackled a large agenda in two days of meetings in late February.
Ben Vandezande, interim director of Canadian ministries, reported on his reviews of the three Canadian aboriginal ministries as well as conversations in regions across Canada about the future of CRC ministry in Canada.
The board extended the employment of current executive director Joel Boot and deputy executive director Peter Borgdorff for up to an extra year, until June 30, 2014, with the amount of time within that year to be determined by the BOT executive in consultation with the new director. They will serve as deputies of the new executive director, expected to be appointed in June by Synod 2013 (the annual leadership meeting of the CRC).
The board spent a great deal of time talking about the future of Faith Alive and how the work of Faith Alive fits into the motif of faith formation. In addition, Peter Borgdorff reported on work being done to realign the specialized ministries, particularly the work of Pastor-Church Relations office.
In other actions, the board
- discussed at length its budgeting priorities.
- endorsed the report of the Task Force to Review Structure and Culture, which will go to Synod 2013.
- decided to recommend that Synod 2014 be convened by First CRC in Pella, Iowa.
- discussed at length the report to Synod 2013 from the Diversity in Leadership Planning Group (DPLG) II, particularly its proposal for a two-year position for a director of diversity.
- decided to recommend that Synod 2013 invite all congregations to recite the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism on Sunday, September 15, to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the catechism.
- received an update on the financial situation at Calvin College. The executive director was asked to get further information about Calvin’s investment policy.
- decided to recommend that Synod 2013 encourage all churches to have a policy on disability and to appoint a disability advocate.
- discussed a report that will go to Synod 2013 that will provide ways for Pastor-Church Relations to become involved more quickly when tension develops in a congregation.
The board meets next in early May in Grand Rapids, Mich.