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‘What We’re Doing Right Now is the Best for the Churches in Canada’

Greta Luimes, chair of the Canada Ministry Board of the CRCNA, and Al Postma, executive director, Canada.
Steven Herppich

Al Postma, executive director, Canada, for the Christian Reformed Church in North America, and Greta Luimes, chair of the Canada Ministry Board, hosted a Sunday afternoon presentation for participants of Synod 2024 on the campus of Calvin University. About 30 people attended the event that was designed to share on the Canadian reality of the CRC, provide clarity, answer questions, and give an update on ministry.

Synod is the annual general assembly of the CRCNA. It’s meeting June 14-20 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Some of the clarifications were about Postma's role, the first time a Canadian executive director position that was not interim reports only to the Canadian board and not to the denomination's executive director or general secretary. Luimes said part of that role is to ensure the implementation of the “Canadian ministry plan approved by our board as it aligns with the CRCNA ministry plan.” Currently the ministry plan is centered on four milestones in “Our Journey 2025,” which the Council of Delegates has recommended be extended to 2030.

Postma said he works closely alongside the director of U.S. ministry operations, Dan DeKam, and they “function organizationally very similarly,” but “I'm responsible for the Canadian-specific ministries in Canada. The U.S. person has no authority on the Canadian specific ministries.”

Luimes clarified some things about Canada Revenue Agency regulations, which have been a focus in the past 4-5 years, noting there are specifics on how a board of a Canadian registered charity needs to be put together, not just guidelines on finances. These conversations led into joint ministry agreements, which are reviewed and approved by the U.S. and Canadian ministry boards, governing how the ministries operate together. Postma said, “The Joint Ministry Agreement process is probably the best thing that has happened in the last while because it really focused us to be specific about strategy.”

(See “Expanded joint ministry agreements” in the October 2021 “The CRC in Canada: A Field Guide” for more information.)

Several people asked questions of Postma and Luimes.

John Tamming, Classis Huron, asked Postma if there has been anything raised from Toward CRC Canada, a group who is interested in seeing the Christian Reformed Church in Canada become its own denomination, which he thinks makes a good point.

Postma said he believes what the Canadian ministry board and ministry office are “doing right now is the best for the churches in Canada.” Postma said, “At some point … if you don't like what the (Canadian) ministries are doing, we cannot blame the U.S. You have to blame me,” but because it’s a new role and new structure, people should “give me a couple of years before this actually comes into effect.”

Chris deWinter, Classis B.C. South-East, said, “In no way do I feel that my ministry on the ground, in a local church in Langley, B.C., is hindered, hampered, or hardened by our binational structure.” He added that he feels “encouraged and strengthened” and that he draws resources from and feels served by the denomination through the Canadian Burlington office.

Synod 2024 is meeting 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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