The Christmas edition of The Banner was in my mail slot this morning. A very nice production! I usually read it from cover to cover. I am also happy to pay for my subscription. A very worthwhile insert was the "Our Journey Together."
One of the items that immediately struck me was the complexity of our ministries. Each of the major ministries has its own logo. The insert also show some nice graphs on income and expenses, and provide highlights.
Sorting these ministries into the 5 streams must have been a challenge for the editor of this insert!
Faith Formation includes Calvin College which is only supported by 2% of ministry shares (though the place is owned by the CRCNA) and also Faith Formation Ministries which has no income and no expenses and uses the official CRCNA logo. You would think Calvin Seminary would go here too.
Gospel Proclamation and Worship includes Calvin Seminary, it's logo and income, and expenses. Then there is Worship Ministries (with no logo and no income/expenses) and yet it really consists of about 1000 congregations that fund everything in this insert. I'd suggest Calvin Seminary go out and churches go in this category. Surely "Our Journey Together" should include all of our congregations? Calvin College should be privatized.
Mercy and Justice includes World Renew which has no ministry share income but is funded by governments and donations. It has its own logo. Also included are Aboriginal Ministries, Disability Concerns, Race Relations, Office of Social Justice, Safe Church Ministry and Centre for Public Dialogue. These last groups should be folded into the major ministries or better yet be given to local churches. Office of Social Justice and Center for Dialogue should be privatized. Fortunately these six groups also have no income, expenses, or logos.
Servant Leadership includes the Candidacy Committee and Sustaining Congregational Excellence/ Sustaining Pastoral Excellence with no income or expense but using the CRCNA logo. These entities, to me, are forced into this category. This category should include all the overhead of the CRCNA and show the costs associated with this group.
To me this all means we need a major rethink of our ministry names and logos. The best logo the CRCNA had was the Faith Alive logo. That one has been discarded based on this insert. Maybe we can change the existing CRCNA logo back to the one we had for Faith Alive. If we can make that leap we should use it also for BTGMI, the new Missions Agency, Calvin Seminary and everything else except Calvin College and World renew.
The order should be changed to list Gospel Proclamation first. That has to be the main raison d'être of the CRCNA.
The changes suggested would give a much better integrated view of the CRCNA.