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March 4, 2016 - 

“It’s not pretty.” That is how the Christian Reformed Church’s executive director Steve Timmermans described the budget planning process for Fiscal 2017 in his report to the Board of Trustees. Director of finance and operations John Bolt said that after initial review some aspects of the budget planning are going back to the drawing board. “We need to get to a balanced budget,” he told the trustees when they met at the end of February. “We are looking at all aspects. Nothing is off limits. We’re trying to be very prudent, making sure new ministries get a chance to blossom.”

The Canadian CRC offices are being enlarged and enhanced. Canadian ministries director Darren Roorda said that at the current facilities, located in Burlington, Ont., employees are sharing work stations and parking on the lawn when paved spaces run out. The renovation will increase parking, work space, and meeting space substantially, at a projected cost of $2.1 million. Existing facilities will also be brought up to code. Terry Veldboom, controller for the Canadian office, said that while remaining open to receive designated capital donations, funding will come from the Canadian CRC’s pooled cash management program with its bank (CIBC), effectively borrowing from itself. The project is expected to take a year.

Board members were also introduced to a number of name changes. The new denominational ministry plan has been renamed “Our Journey 2020.” The five streams around which the ministry plan is organized are now referred to as “Our Calling.” The board is recommending that Synod 2016 rename Pastor Church Relations as Pastor Church Resources because the original name “has acquired some unintended negative consequences,” including “implicitly suggesting that the ministry’s primary reason for being has been to address ‘problems.’”

Additionally, the specialized ministries, which includes Safe Church, Disability Concerns, Race Relations, and more, will now be collectively known as Congregational Services.

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