George Vander Weit
I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago and have been a member of the CRC since my baptism as an infant. In third grade I expressed a desire to be a minister. I delivered newspapers as young boy, and from 8th grade through seminary worked at a store that sold quality fruits and vegetables (and at other stores during the school year in Grand Rapids) so I could pay my high school, college and seminary tuition.
I was a member of the second class of Trinity Christian College in Chicago and completed my college education at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. When I was in seminary, I worked with a Navajo pastor for ten weeks on my summer field assignment and did a fifteen-month internship in inner city New York (Harlem). I graduated from Calvin Seminary in 1968.
My wife Bonnie and I served four Christian Reformed congregations in our almost-forty years of ministry. Two of them were in racially changing/changed communities. We retired in June 2008 and moved to Rochester, MI, to be close to one of our children. We are members of the Han Bit Korean Christian Reformed Church, where I serve as an elder. Twice a month I preach in our English service for junior high, high school and college age youth. I also serve as the alternate synodical deputy of our classis, Classis Lake Erie. (Synodical rules require the presence of three synodical deputies from three neighboring classes when candidates are examined, pastors are released, etc.)
We have four children and six grandchildren and anticipate the birth of two more grandchildren in May and October.
For years I’ve been interested in the polity of the church and in the way the church conducts business in its assemblies. I’ve served as the secretary (stated clerk) of a couple of our regional groupings (classes) for about thirty years. This position required me to be knowledgeable about our Church Order and our denominational decisions. I’ve been delegated to our national assembly (synod) a number of times and have written a number of proposals (overtures) requesting various actions of classis and synod. I’ve also served on a number of classical and denominational study committees/task forces.
I’ve always been concerned that our women and ethnic minority members be given opportunities to use their gifts in every area of ministry and have written a number of overtures in an attempt to attain that goal.
Over the past forty years I’ve authored a number of articles/letters to the editor that have been published in the Banner, our denominational magazine. Since 2001 I’ve been one of the contributors to the Frequently Asked Questions column of the Banner. For many years I’ve sent a joke each Friday to a group of people, and some of these have been published on the Punch Lines page of the Banner.
While in the ministry, I made sure I was involved in some way in the local community beyond the typical ministerial association. I’ve been a member of a couple service clubs, a board member of a Chamber of Commerce, the chairman of a Charity Ball, a Community Activities director for a city, the first president of a Community Coalition for the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse, one of the founders of a Neighborhood Organization and have served in a number of other capacities. Currently, I’m active in our condominium association, serving as the chair of a committee and assisting with various projects.