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Synod Extends ‘Our Journey 2025’ Ministry Plan to 2030

JP Trabbold, commissioned pastor at Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in Ripon, Calif., served as an adviser on the committee recommending review of the “Grow in Diversity” milestone.
Steven Herppich

Synod 2024 voted to extend the Our Journey 2025 ministry plan to 2030 “with the appropriate evaluation and updated communication strategy.”

Synod is the annual general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. It is meeting June 14-20 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The phrase “with the appropriate evaluation and update” includes instructing the Council of Delegates to “review the wording and intent of pillar (milestone) three—Grow in Diversity—and underlying materials.” This is because there have been “concerns that the emphasis of the pillar should be on the virtue of hospitality rather than the fulfillment of ethnic quotas.”

Our Journey 2025 ministry plan was developed during 2018 and 2019 and approved by the Council of Delegates in June 2020. The implementation was delayed due to COVID-19. Synod decided not to develop an entirely new ministry plan when Our Journey 2025 is still suitable, stating “staff time would better be spent evaluating and strengthening the current ministry plan.”

JP Trabbold, appointed as “Ethnic Adviser” to synod, a role intended to ensure voices from multiple cultures within the Christian Reformed Church are present at synod when those delegated from classes include fewer than a specified number of individuals from outside the majority culture, spoke to the matter, noting he had the full support of fellow ethnic adviser, Patrick Lin.

Trabbold, a commissioned pastor in Ripon, Calif., said while this milestone is called “‘Grow in Diversity’ … I’m afraid this is working against the very nature of our diversity.” He said we should “stop showing ethnic partiality” because it “hinders the work of the spirit.”

Zachary King, general secretary of the CRCNA read milestone three: “Grow in diversity and unity by seeking justice, reconciliation, and welcome, sharing our faith as we build relationships with and honor the cultures of our neighbors and newcomers.” He added that “this particular milestone developed out of a period of consultation” in 2018 and 2019 and noted the goal was to answer the question, “How do we as churches live into that (diverse) reality as our gospel duty?”

The Council of Delegates will report back to Synod 2025 with its review of the wording and intent of the “Grow in Diversity” milestone and accompanying materials.

Synod 2024 met June 14-20 at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Mich. Find daily coverage from The Banner news team at Visit for the synod schedule, webcast, recordings, photos, committee reports, and liveblog. Synod is the annual general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church.

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