Synod 2016, the general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church, is a few months past. Now the denomination’s executive director, Board of Trustees (BOT), and other committees will start fulfilling the many tasks given them by synod delegates.
Some developments to watch for:
- Appointment of a committee to investigate ministry partnerships with Koreans in Korea, building on relationships already formed by staff of Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary.
- Recommendations from the Candidacy Committee regarding commissioned pastors, including provision for an “emeritus” status for retired commissioned pastors; more help for classes (regional groups of churches) when the work of a commissioned pastor is terminated; and possible ways the office of commissioned pastor could in some circumstances be a “bridge ordination” toward ordination as minister of the Word.
- Creation of a website of resources and information for continuing education for pastors.
- Appointment of a task force to address the inequity in classis funding for seminary students and the financial challenges facing Canadians who desire to attend Calvin Theological Seminary.
- Evaluation by the BOT of every existing ministry and program, including charting which synod established the ministry and what the current funding allocation is, and seeking input from the churches on prioritizing those ministries.
- Plans (from the BOT) to help classes encourage their churches to do their share financially.
- “Reimagining” (by the BOT) of the ministry shares system that funds ministries at agreed-upon levels and simplifies calculations of ministry shares dollars asked of each church.
- Expanded efforts from the Office of Social Justice and several other ministries to raise awareness in the CRC of the injustice of persecution, to distribute up-to-date information about religious persecution, and to urge congregations to participate in the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.
- Consideration of a denomination-wide annual Day of Justice to recognize the plight of those who are oppressed and marginalized, to confess, lament, and listen to the stories of those who have suffered at the hands of others because of racism.
- A study of the feasibility of developing new Sunday school and catechism material for children in the CRC led by Faith Formation Ministries.
- Appointments to the Synod Review Task Force and to the synodically-appointed Committee to Articulate a Foundation-Laying Biblical Theology of Human Sexuality.