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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.

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