This section of the Banner is named “Church@Work” because we use it to update you on the ministry work of our denomination. This month I want to highlight a different but important issue and ask for your thoughtful participation.
Synod 2005 authorized the Board of Trustees, in consultation with the board of CRC Publications, “to appoint a committee to develop and propose to Synod 2007 an updated version of Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony. Synod adopted the following ground for this decision: “The current document is almost twenty years old….[given] the fact that Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony does not function at the level of a confession but has served instead as a dynamic statement of faith, it must periodically be reviewed and perhaps revised if it is to speak contemporaneously” (Acts of Synod 2005, Article 32, p. 734).
The Contemporary Testimony is a wonderful statement and has been a blessing to the church since it was adopted in 1986. But, as synod noted, if it is to speak to our changing culture we must keep it current.
A lot has happened in the past 20 years, and the world is a very different place than it was in 1986. So committee members have been appointed, and they are at work. They asked that I encourage you to help them in the revision process.
I am glad that the committee is requesting your involvement. Sometimes the denomination’s procedures can seem a bit removed from the people in the pew. Here is an opportunity to be directly involved in an important assignment. The faith of the church—your faith—needs to be stated as clearly and convincingly as possible for our time, and you can help to put it into words.
These are the questions to which the committee would like your response:
- What parts of the present version of the Contemporary Testimony are helpful and important and therefore ought to be retained?
- What in the present version should be changed?
- What in the present version is missing and should be added?
You can find the Contemporary Testimony on the CRC website www.crcna.org pages/our_world_main.cfm or on pages 1019-1038 in the back of the gray Psalter Hymnal. You can also order your own copy by calling Faith Alive Christian Resources at 1-800-333-8300 or by visiting Faith Alive’s Grand Rapids or Burlington bookstores.
Please send your comments and suggestions directly to the committee by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Contemporary Testimony Revision Committee
c/o Dr. Clayton Libolt
River Terrace CRC
1509 River Terrace Dr.
East Lansing, MI 48823
There is one other matter to which I would like to call to your attention. Rev. David H. Engelhard, general secretary-emeritus of the CRC, succumbed to the effects of brain cancer on Dec. 22, 2005.
David lived life fully to the end, gave a marvelous testimony of his abiding faith even as his physical capacity declined, and celebrated the grace of God in his Son, Jesus Christ.
We will miss David, and our hearts go out to his wife, Jeanne, and their extended family. We are comforted by the assurance that David is now at peace and completely whole. We are grateful to the Lord for David’s life and ministry in the CRC.