The Christian Reformed Church’s executive director, Dr. Steven Timmermans, reported to Synod 2016 his optimism about the state of the church. He noted an increase in the number of congregations by 10, as well as stable financial faithfulness reflected in the giving level. “It’s beyond where we’d hoped to be,” he said. “With God’s grace, our ministry continues across the globe.”
He reported that the combining of Christian Reformed Home Missions and Christian Reformed World Missions has begun. The ministry of deacons continues to be revitalized, as reflected by their participation as delegates at synod. Progress also continues with the revitalization of the office of elder.
Timmermans noted that a Lilly Foundation grant administered by Pastor Church Resources is enhancing the ability of several target classes to work together to better resource congregations for cooperative ministry.
Timmermans then turned to the denominational ministry plan called “Our Journey,” which was developed out of a long series of listening sessions and subsequent discussion. He pointed out that what was formerly called the five streams are now called five callings: gospel proclamation, mercy and justice, global mission, faith formation, and servant leadership. “Naming them callings,” he said, “reflects what God calls us to do or be.”
However we may restate our denominational goals, Timmermans reminded the delegates that “We’re a confessional church. That’s the foundation that puts us into motion.”
He closed by encouraging delegates to recognize that “God is blessing us with resources as we think about ways to fulfilling our calling as a CRC.”
Synod 2016 is meeting at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., from June 10-17. For continuous Banner coverage, please follow The Banner Magazine on Facebook or @crcbanner on Twitter. You can find more tweeting by following hashtag #crcsynod. News stories will be posted at thebanner.org several times daily. For CRC Communications releases, webcast, and live blogging, please visit crcna.org/synod. Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are Karen Huttenga.