What’s in a name? Plenty.
That’s why after 42 years, the Christian Reformed Church’s Canadian Committee for Contact with the Government (CCG) is now called the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue.
Since 1968, the committee has addressed ethical, social justice, and policy matters in Canada.
Why include “Christian Reformed” in the new name now? “Putting ‘Christian Reformed’ right out front in our name is a crisp way of demonstrating our roots in the CRC,” said Mike Hogeterp, the Centre’s research and communications manager.
In addition, policy makers and the Centre’s ecumenical partners already identify the ministry by its relationship to the CRC and its people.
The Centre recently moved from Burlington, Ontario, to Ottawa, Canada’s capital. There it will serve to encourage the CRC and its members to grow in their call to citizenship and justice action. “We’re particularly excited about the potential of our new Ottawa location as a place to learn with members of the CRC and other churches about the connections between Christian faith and discipleship─it’s just a short walk from our office to Parliament to practice what we learn,” said Hogeterp.
The Reformed Church in America, which has congregations in Canada, also takes part in the Centre’s work.
The words “Public Dialogue” reflect the Centre’s approach. A CCG document stated that in Canada’s secular political culture, a voice in public debate cannot be demanded; a contribution can only be built through consistent, respectful dialogue that focuses on the good of the whole community.