Synod quietly approved plans to dissolve the board of Faith Alive Christian Resources, the Christian Reformed church’s publishing arm.
“Faith Alive needs to change,” said its director, Mark Rice. “Faith Alive has been trying to operate like a small commercial publisher . . . we thought revenue growth was the way out. It’s not anyone’s fault, it’s just a statement of what is. It’s a different market than it was 20 years ago.”
Faith Alive’s goal looking forward will be “creating vibrant ministry,” whether by creating its own materials or by linking churches to outside materials, Rice said.
“Thanks for your expression of commitment and your conviction that the work will go on,” synod chair William Koopmans told Rice. “That is really ‘Faith Alive.’”
Joel Boot, executive director of the Christian Reformed Church, pointed out that staff had been working hard for months to prepare for the dissolution of Faith Alive.
“Do not interpret [synod’s] lack of discussion as lack of interest. We ask for your continued prayers as we move forward with this.”
Synod also approved a motion that some “critical functions” of Faith Alive—mostly related to faith formation materials such as Sunday school curricula—will be assigned to other areas of the denominational structure. The agency had to lay off eight of its 27 staff, according to Rice.
The Banner will continue under the supervision of the Board of Trustees on a temporary basis.
Synod 2013 is meeting at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. from June 7-14. For continuous Banner coverage of Synod 2013, please follow The Banner on Facebook or @crcbanner on Twitter. You can find more tweeting by following hashtag #crcsynod. News stories will be posted at www.thebanner.org several times daily. For CRC Communications releases, webcast, and live blogging, please visit www.crcna.org/synod. Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.