Governance Restructure Subject of Recent Canada Corporation Meeting

| |

The Christian Reformed Church in North America Canada Corporation met for a half-day in July to further discuss the governance restructure. CRCNA Canada Corporation is made up of the Canadian members of the Council of Delegates, which acts on behalf of synod between synod’s annual meetings.

Restructuring of CRCNA Canada Corporation and U.S. (Michigan) Corporation was announced in February, to bring the CRC in Canada into compliance with tax law for charitable organizations in Canada.

Much of the discussion at this meeting was about proposed bylaws and how to ensure that Canada Corporation has direction and control of resources in Canada, as required by tax law.

Delegate Bob Loerts, Classis Niagara, wondered if full direction and control is jeopardized by the fact that synod appoints the members of the Canada Corporation, since synod has far more American delegates than Canadian. Aaltje Van van Grootheest, the member at large who is drafting the new bylaws, replied that synod is not mentioned in the new bylaws.

As part of reshaping governance, the way reports are received in committees of both the Council and at synod might need to be adjusted. Delegate William Koopmans, Classis Hamilton, said that at some point there might have to be dual reporting. “We could theoretically have a synod that meets partly joined and partly separate (for U.S. and Canada). We can’t give the appearance of simply rubber-stamping synod recommendations.”

The Canada Corporation voted to ask the entire Council to further embrace a dual-nation reporting practice at its committees in cases when an agenda item has significance on both sides of the border. That would be accomplished by having both a U.S. and a Canadian staff person reporting to the committee.

A request for synod to do the same will go to the Council executive committee.

Much of the ambiguity still lies in deciding what matters are temporal (operational) and what matters are ecclesiastical for the CRC on both sides of the border. The current direction for the restructuring calls for an executive director on each side of the border and an ecclesiastical officer.

The Canada Corporation members also approved in principle a job description for its chief administrator, a position that will replace the current Canadian ministries director role. The U.S. Corporation will have a parallel role for an executive director in the U.S.

A new PowerPoint presentation that will explain a lot more about the restructure is being assembled by Council delegate Greta Luimes and will soon be available for churches and classes.

About the Author

Gayla Postma retired as news editor for The Banner in 2020.

See comments (2)

Comments

I continue to think that a tremendous amount of effort is going into maintaineng a single binational denomination, perhaps largely for sentimental reasons, that will lead to increased costs and continual conflict. At a minimum the addition of another exedcutive level positions as an eccesiasticl officer adds a six-figure cost. And there will be the continual difficult or impossible task of determining if a decisio is operational or ecclesasticl, when many decisions are necessarily both.

Wouldn't it be much simpler to accept reality and divide into two national denominations, with deep and rich ties in sharing various menistries souc as World Rebnew and Disability Concerns and such, ss modeled by the relationship of the CRCNA and the RCA.

This is a deeply disturbing issue. From my reading of all the material the issue was not handled in a proper manner. For as long as CRA has existed in Canada the church has filed financial reports. World Renew has filed financial reports. 

When Synod embarked (not at the urging of any churches as far as know) on a major reorganization in 2015, CRCNA ended up with a Council of 48 people trying to run a bi-national organization. Where was the whole due diligence of the committee or task force charged with this reorganization? The (Canadian) World Renew was apparently on side with CRA. Should that then have been looked at?

Who brought up the problem with CRA has never been answered publicly. Was it a church in Canada or one or more people on the COD? Was it discussed in the total COD "there appears to be a problem"? Did the COD ever entertain going to the CRA before making decisions for which they probably had no real answers? What was the position of the auditors of the CRNA in Canada? And the CRCNA lost two valuable people (maybe more) because of this?

I quote Andy de Ruyter of the Canadian COD in Christian Courier... "The Canadian Board, which is part of the Council of Delegates (COD), found that there were some things that needed to be altered to make us more compliant as a non-profit."

If that is truly what happened how were the USA part of the COD informed?

Bill Vis' analysis of the situation is quite correct. It is his solution that is the deeply disturbing part.

Two Canadian churches have written to the COD at some length to outline the problems with this whole issue. 

It is too late to turn the clock back on the people issues but regarding the issue in total the last thing we need is to have is: "A request for synod to do the same will go to the Council executive committee."   As reported in the article that is subject of this communication.

My suggestion is to go to CRA confess what the Canadian COD THINK are CRCNA "sins" and ask for time to resolve them.

Harry Boessenkool

X