Grand Rapids, Mich. – The Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church in North America met on February 27 and 28 at the CRC offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
During this meeting the Board:
- Approved the nomination of Dr. Steven R. Timmermans and recommended him to Synod 2014 for appointment as the Executive Director of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, effective June 30, 2014. The Board previously had accepted Dr. Timmermans’ resignation from the BOT. The Board also thanked the Executive Director Search Committee and dismissed them with gratitude.
- Heard that the search process for a new Canadian Ministries Director is in its final stages. A nominee is expected to be presented to the Board at its May 2014 meeting for appointment and recommendation to Synod 2014 for ratification.
- Received an update from a team that is helping the CRC in a fundamental reframing of its Ministry Plan. The Board heard that the Strategic Planning and Adaptive Change Team has made significant progress in developing drafts of possible strategies and naming adaptive challenges. A preliminary plan is to be brought to the Board in May, with a final plan coming in September.
- Received and affirmed a report concerning the mandate of the CRCNA-Canada Corporation. The report provides for the CRCNA-Canada Corporation to set aside time to address strategic issues specific to ministry in Canada, with minutes and recommendations being submitted to the full Board for approval.
- Heard a presentation on the work of the Doctrine of Discovery Task Force and approved a request from the task force to extend its funding and reporting deadline for an additional year. The final report is to be presented to the Board in September 2015 and forwarded to the churches for consideration at Synod 2016.
- Appointed ethnic and deacon advisers and young adult representatives to Synod 2014.
- Were reminded of the importance of staying connected with classes and churches in the areas that they represent.
- Tabled until May a report on cultivating binationality in the CRC. Mr. Ben Vandezande, the interim Canadian Ministries Director, provided an overview of the process and Board members divided into groups to discuss the pathways proposed by which bi-nationality may be fostered.
- Heard a report from Rev. Mark Stephenson concerning the work of the Office of Disability Concerns. The Board also approved a revised mandate for the office and appointed Mr. Steve Nyenhuis to the Disability Concerns Advisory Committee.
- Heard a report from Dr. Moses Chung, director of Christian Reformed Home Missions. Dr. Chung shared with the Board a new strategic plan to focus on congregations. The plan identifies three priorities: (1) to start and strengthen churches; (2) to develop disciples, leaders and campus ministries; and (3) to engage clusters, classes and communities.
- Received an update from Mr. Colin Watson, who is assisting the Executive Director in carrying out synodical decisions aimed at increasing diversity in denominational leadership. The Board heard that Mr. Bing Goei has taken a position with the State of Michigan and is no longer a part of this team.
- Recommended that Synod 2014 adopt proposed changes in the guidelines for appointing synodical study committees.
- Received the report of the Task Force to Review the Judicial Code and recommended that Synod 2014 adopt a number of proposed revisions to the code.
- Dissolved the Leadership Exchange Governing Board, because both leadership development and the young adult leadership ministry have been incorporated into a new organizational realignment.
- Expressed appreciation for the recently completed evaluation reports of the three Urban Aboriginal Ministry centres and received them as information.
- Ratified the annual plan for the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue.
- Heard highlights from the report of the Task Force Reviewing Structure and Culture. The Board will spend time at its meeting in May considering the implications of options proposed for denominational board and committee structure. The report is to go to Synod 2014.
- Next meetings:
- May 1-2, 2014 – Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Sept. 25-27, 2014 - simultaneous board meetings in Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Feb. 26-27, 2015 – Burlington, Ontario
- May 7-8, 2015 – Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Sept. 24-26, 2015 – simultaneous board meetings in Grand Rapids, Michigan
- February 25-26, 2016, in Grand Rapids, Michigan
- May 5-6, 2016, in Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Sept. 29 - October 1, 2016, simultaneous board meetings in Grand Rapids, Michigan
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