Eight pastors and two of their spouses gathered recently in Grand Rapids, Mich., to learn more about the Christian Reformed Church as part of a pilot program of the church’s Candidacy Committee, which coordinates the ordination processes of the denomination.
The event, called “Welcome to the CRC,” provided an opportunity to look at denominational ministries, the campuses of Calvin Theological Seminary and Calvin College, and various other ministries affiliated with the CRC, says Rev. David Koll, director of candidacy.
Four of the eight pastors are Chinese and “represent a revitalization of leadership in the Chinese-American ministry of the CRC,” says Koll.
The other pastors, who hail from Mexico, Kenya, Nigeria, and Korea, had the benefit of making personal connections with each other and CRC personnel.
“The Cultural and History Tour was the highlight of the whole orientation,” one participant said, referring to a daylong tour of ministry locations in West Michigan. “Through the tour we came to understand the heritage of the CRC and how it came to become today’s CRC.”
This included visiting the Heritage Center of Graafschaap CRC, near Holland, Mich., which offers a professionally designed tour through the history of the CRC and of this founding congregation.
The guests also said they appreciated participating in the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship’s three-day Worship Symposium, says Koll. He anticipates making the pilot program an annual or biannual event.
Although aimed at affiliating pastors in the CRC, participants suggested opening the program to any interested pastors or church leaders. “I might very well consider that. It is a good tool to orient those who want to become more familiar with the CRC,” says Koll.
For more information on candidacy in the CRC, contact Koll at email@example.com, or visit the Candidacy Committee’s home page at www.crcna.org/candidacy.
—CRC Communications, CRC Candidacy Committee
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