The Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church met in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Sept. 26-28, to tackle a very large agenda. Here is a round-up of some of the conversations at that meeting:
- Executive director Joel Boot told trustees that for 12 days in February 2014, he and Tom De Vries, general secretary of the Reformed Church in America, will be traveling to various regions in the U.S. and Canada to meet with groups of influential members of the CRC and RCA to hear about and generate support for collaborative efforts of the two denominations. There are currently more than 40 areas in which the two churches collaborate. “This is not about merger, but about mission,” said Joel Boot.
- The board spent several hours meeting with two consultants who have been hired to help with what is termed a “fundamental reframing” of the denominational ministries plan. They spent time going through statistics and demographics in both the U.S. and Canada and also discussed characteristics and trends within the CRC. It is all part of the work of the Strategic Planning and Adaptive Change Team (SPACT). The next step for SPACT is to convene meetings in eight regions in the U.S. and Canada, and then meet with focus groups. The directors of the ministry agencies of the CRC will then begin crafting a new ministry plan.
- The board met with Calvin College president Michael Le Roy and heard that the financial situation at the college is improving.
- Rev. Norm Thomasma, director of Pastor Church Relations, met with the board and reported that the process for credentialing people in staff ministry is now in place.
- The board was introduced to Colin Watson and Bing Goei, who will be working to implement the diversity in leadership goals assigned this summer by Synod 2013.
- By way of the finance committee minutes, the board heard about a proposed new budget process.
- The board approved changes to the bylaws of World Renew.
- Board members from all the agencies came together for dinner. Storyteller and retired professor Jim Schaap had their rapt attention as he told a tale of Christian zombies, in the end bringing them to their feet to sing “I Love to Tell the Story.”