Why was it important to the Structure and Leadership Task Force (SALT) that the Council of Delegates, at its February 2022 meeting, begin the process of creating a new and separate ecclesial organization for the Office of General Secretary, as well as a chief executive position for the CRC U.S. corporation?
The Office of the General Secretary serves the entire Christian Reformed Church, in both Canada and the United States. It is important to establish a new and separate ecclesial organization to house the Office of General Secretary so it can focus on fulfilling its ecclesiastical, synodical, and ecumenical purposes and responsibilities in Canada and the U.S.
The Office of General Secretary will use the expanded joint ministry agreement process described in the SALT report to develop and nurture partnerships with World Renew, ReFrame Ministries, Calvin University, Calvin Theological Seminary, CRC Canada corporation and CRC U.S. corporation.
The purpose of the CRC U.S. corporation is to be the CRC ministry organization in the United States. The role of the chief executive is to lead the U.S. ministry organization to fulfill governance, administrative and ministry activities as directed by Synod, the U.S. Board of Directors, and as required by U.S. federal and state law.
The purpose of the CRC Canada corporation is to be the CRC ministry organization in Canada. The role of the Executive Director Canada as recommended in the SALT report is to lead the Canada ministry organization to fulfill governance, administrative and ministry activities as directed by Synod, the Canada Board of Directors and as required by Canadian federal and provincial law.
By having separate ministry organizations in Canada and the U.S. there will be greater flexibility in contextualizing governance, administration and ministry activities to meet needs identified by churches in Canada and the U.S. A separate ecclesial organization with a bi-national mission distinct from the U.S and Canada ministry organizations will create clarity, understanding and focus.
Finally, separate ministry organizations are essential to the establishment and maintenance of the Joint Ministry Agreements called for in the SALT report. The appointment of a chief executive for the U.S. ministry organization as distinct from the Office of General Secretary and the ecclesial organization assures that the Canada ministry organization will enjoy a well-defined legal partner/party in the Joint Ministry Agreements.
Rev. Frederic Koning is a retired CRC Pastor and Medical Ethicist. He served as the Reporter for the Structure and Leadership Task Force (SALT), and co-facilitator of the SALT Steering Committee and the Joint Ministry Agreement Task Force.
Dr. Lloyd Vanderkwaak is a retired CEO and has conducted research on the governance partnership in nonprofit organizations. He served as a co-facilitator of the SALT Steering Committee and the Joint Ministry Agreement Task Force.