One of the duties of the Council of Delegates is to carry out the tasks assigned to it by synod, the annual assembly of the Christian Reformed Church. Synod 2018 gave the Council plenty to do.
[ ✓ ] Synod 2018 recognized how conflict hurts the church and urged the executive director to issue a purposeful and consistent call to the entire denomination to be intentional in prayer for reconciled relationships. It also asked that a list of existing resources addressing unresolved conflict and the need for reconciliation be compiled. That list can be found here.
[ ✓ ] Synod asked the Council to clarify the expectations for funding of Reformed curricula in the future. The Council approved an addition to the Faith Formation Ministries’ mandate to include supporting children’s ministry in Christian Reformed congregations by regularly refreshing existing Faith Alive curricula; providing training, support, and consultations for teachers and directors; and providing guidance for assessing and adapting other (non-Faith Alive) curricular materials. Colin Watson, director of ministries and administration for the CRC, noted that the focus is on existing resources, not developing completely new materials. The approval of the mandate addition includes a note specifying that “the denomination commits to include the need for these resources in upcoming budget processes and request the appropriate financial resources required to carry out this mandate.”
[ ✓ ] Synod 2018 held a lengthy discussion confronting the issue of abuse in the church. Synod instructed the Council to appoint a small team to bring recommendations to Synod 2019 regarding how the CRCNA can best address the patterns of abuse of power at all levels of the denomination.
The Council appointed Rev. Carel Geleynse, Kathy Vandergrift, Sherry Fakkema, Heather Garretson, Patricia Van Reenen, and Elsa Fennema to that team, requesting that the team find two or three additional nominees from the multicultural communities of the CRC. The committee will also include Rev. Darren Roorda (Canadian ministries director), Bonnie Nicholas (director of the CRC’s Safe Church ministry), and Susan Hoekema, a member of the Council of Delegates.
[ ] In the absence of a standing synodical committee to review Bible translations suitable for worship, Synod 2018 requested the Council advise how a future synod can address its responsibility for that review. The Council asked the executive director to establish an ad hoc committee to advise the Council on this assignment and said that the committee should include a member of the CRC’s senior leadership; the director of CRC Worship Ministries and/or the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship; a current or retired professor from Calvin Theological Seminary with experience in Bible translations; a current professor of Old or New Testament; and pastors.