Delegates of Synod 2016 declined to increase the amount of money churches are asked to remit to support the shared ministries of the Christian Reformed Church. (Synod is the CRC’s annual general assembly.)
The Board of Trustees had recommended a 2 percent increase in that support, known as ministry share. In an unusual move, delegates chose instead to hold the line at $339.48 per active adult member when synod met in June. That meant denominational personnel had to take another look at budget allocations, working with approximately $200,000 less revenue.
Since the ministry shares increase was intended for Congregational Services, the major ministry agencies and educational institutions will receive their budgeted ministry-shares revenue. They include Back to God Ministries International, the combined mission agency, Calvin College, and Calvin Theological Seminary. Once those ministries receive 100 percent of their allocation, additional ministry shares revenue will go to Congregational Services.
Congregational Services is a group of smaller ministries, including Faith Formation, Worship, Disability Concerns, Office of Social Justice, Race Relations, Safe Church Ministry, Chaplaincy and Care Ministry, Pastor Church Resources, and Ministry Support Services, which includes The Banner. These ministries primarily serve local congregations.
The board also noted that the initial budget was based on an exchange rate of .75 CDN/US, when in fact it seems that it will be stronger, which may allow the original budget to be met.