Marking its 75th anniversary this year, the Canadian Council of Churches will spend 2019 considering the role of the church in contemporary Canadian society. The ecumenical organization focused on Christian unity has 26 member churches, including the Christian Reformed Church.
Peter Noteboom, a member of First CRC in Toronto, Ont., serves as the Council’s general secretary, a five-year term to which he was elected in May 2018.
“All the bodies of the Council will be asking themselves that question,” Noteboom said, culminating in the fall with a cross-Canada live-streamed event whose main theme will be “What’s the place of Christianity in Canada today?”
The Council begins this year with a new mission/vision statement and an updated logo with the tagline “Christ, Community, Compassion.”
The mission/vision statement adopted by the Council’s governing board in November 2018 reads: “The Canadian Council of Churches responds to Christ’s call for unity and peace, seeks Christ’s truth with affection for diversity, and acts in love through prayer, dialogue, and witness to the gospel.” In May 2018 the board, realizing that a shorter articulation of the Council’s purpose would serve the Council in strategic planning, requested that its executive committee develop a statement. Kathy Vandergrift, serving as a representative of the CRCNA, is a vice president for the executive committee.
Noteboom said though the CRC only joined the Council in 1998, the denomination contributes an outsized level of leadership. It’s one of the top five participating member churches, he said.