Pastor Church Resources, formerly called Pastor-Church Relations, is expanding programs of healing and prevention for ministers, church staff, councils, and congregations.
With the name change, the ministry is better able to communicate the full range of what it does, from providing programs and education to pastors and churches to enhancing the work of classes throughout the Christian Reformed Church.
Synod 2016 officially made the name change. Before the change, the abbreviation for the office name was PCR—and so it remains.
The previous name either explicitly or implicitly suggested that the ministry’s primary or only reason for being was to address problems between pastors and churches, said Norm Thomasma, director of the ministry.
“Making the change provides a way to retain the recognizable abbreviation and, at the same time, shift the accent in ways that will help churches access benefits from the ministry,” said Thomasma.
Since it was founded by synod in 1982, the ministry has seen significant growth “in its responsibilities, with proportionally more of its work directed toward resourcing church leaders, congregational staff, pastors, pastor spouses and so on through increased efforts to generate helpful materials and provide educational events,” according to material submitted to Synod 2016 (Agenda for Synod 2016, p. 47).
Playing an important role in this growth have been two initiatives: Sustaining Pastoral Excellence, which works to enhance the ministry of pastors, and Sustaining Congregational Excellence, which seeks to build capacity in smaller congregations and support them in efforts to do ministry.
Other initiatives and services include
- managing ministerial and church profiles in the pastor search process;
- overseeing the credentialing program for non-ordained staff;
- endorsing Specialized Transitional Ministers and helping congregations obtain their services;
- providing direct consultation in times of transition or crisis;
- overseeing the Continuing Education Grants Program for pastors and church staff;
- creating and distributing educational and resource material for congregations and church staff;
- working with and through pastoral mentors, regional pastors, and church visitors to provide support, encouragement, and counsel to congregations and staff.
For more information, visit Pastor Church Resources.