Last month I introduced this column by telling you that August would usher in major transitions in denominational leadership. At that time I expected to retire Aug. 22, 2005. In that same column I reflected on the reminder that “unexpected developments can change our plans midstream.” Once again we have been surprised by unexpected events.
It was expected that Rev. Calvin L. Bremer would become executive director of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, having been appointed to the position in June by Synod 2005. But events that transpired during the month of July altered those plans.
On July 29, the executive committee of the Board of Trustees of the CRC and the executive committee of the Back to God Hour recommended and accepted Bremer’s resignation. This action was taken with sadness and disappointment. Let it suffice to say that the officers of the two boards became convinced that Bremer’s ability to lead the CRC had been severely compromised based on information that became known after synod adjourned. Rev. Bremer accepted that judgment and submitted his resignation.
Unexpected developments can shake our sense of well-being and our self-confidence. I confess that mine was severely challenged as we began dealing with the situation and its consequences. I also know that such crises are part of life and living. Even more important than observing that reality is the confession that “our times (and circumstances) are in God’s hands.” All of us can claim that confession—individuals, committees, and the denomination as a whole.
It is not my intent to blame or accuse anyone, nor is it my intent to minimize the difficulty we are in at the moment. To the contrary, it is important to face our crises, to honestly assess and then determine our next steps forward.
Since the announcement of the resignation on Aug. 1, there have been many discussions about next steps. The outcome of those discussions will be announced in future issues of The Banner as appropriate.
In pursuing that course I ask for your understanding and patience. Please pray for Rev. Bremer and his family, the board and personnel of the Back to God Hour, and for the Board of Trustees of the CRC as it seeks to guide the denomination through these regrettable circumstances.