The ministry of Race Relations is mandated by synod to help the denomination, congregations, and members of the Christian Reformed Church work to eliminate racism and its effects within the body of believers and throughout the world.
We support All Nations Heritage celebrations and provide bulletins, worship resources, and advice to help congregations celebrate our God-given diversity.
The newly appointed Race Relations Integrating Team (RRIT) has begun to oversee the expansion of the antiracism/racial reconciliation initiative in the United States and Canada.
Plans are also under way to focus on young people and promote their involvement in diversity, reconciliation, and unity. The goal is to encourage them to reach out to other people who are not just like them. Classes and congregations are encouraged to support regional youth representation in these initiatives. The Office of Race Relations is working with Youth Unlimited to sponsor the upcoming “Where U At?” youth conference in the spring of 2006.
The Office of Race Relations awarded a total of $24,484 in scholarships and grants to 26 applicants in the 2005-06 school year. Institutions represented among scholarship recipients were Calvin College, Calvin Theological Seminary, Dordt College, Reformed Bible College, Trinity Christian College, and Redeemer University College.
Funding for the scholarships comes from offerings received at All Nations Heritage celebration services. All offerings designated to Race Relations between Oct. 2 and Dec. 31 are earmarked for the scholarship awards.
“The Women of the Nations” breakfast was held in August at Calvin College’s Prince Conference Center.
At press time, “Soul Changes,” a weekend of information on racial reconciliation, was scheduled for Sept. 23-24 at Roosevelt Park CRC, Oakdale Park CRC, City Hope Ministries, and Madison Square CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Synod encourages churches and classes to celebrate All Nations Heritage Week every year during the last week of September through the first Sunday in October.