Grand Rapids, Mich. – The Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church in North America met on May 2 and 3, 2013 at the denominational offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
During this meeting the Board:
- Decided to renew the search for the next executive director of the CRCNA after learning at the start of the meeting that its potential nominee had unexpectedly withdrawn. The Board had been scheduled to interview the candidate who was identified by its search committee. A successful interview would have resulted in the candidate being recommended to Synod 2013 for appointment. After discussion, the Board instructed its executive committee to determine next steps. It also requested that the terms of Rev. Joel R. Boot and Rev. Peter Borgdorff as executive director and deputy executive director respectively be extended until a candidate can be appointed. They have agreed to serve for an additional year.
- Discussed and endorsed the general direction of a report recommending that critical functions of Faith Alive Christian Resources be preserved by assigning them to other parts of the denominational structure that serve similar functions. The report had been prepared by a team, including staff from various areas of denominational ministries. It was precipitated by a financial crisis that is expected to lead to the Faith Alive board being dissolved. The Board of Trustees also:
- Received as information the proposed realignment of a variety of functions to provide support in enhancing the ministry of congregations. The realignment would include the CRC’s specialized ministries, critical functions transferred from Faith Alive and initiatives to encourage inter-generational emphasis on faith formation;
- Heard about the initiation of pilot projects to (1) explore how the denomination can better walk alongside congregations, including engaging classes and other regional resources; (2) develop an intergenerational ministry team with a focus on engaging young adults in ministry at home and abroad; (3) begin a vocational assessment project to guide church staff in mid-career transitions and (4) renew the denominational covenant;
- Approved reallocation of financial resources, including the two percent increase in Ministry Shares to be requested at Synod 2013, in support of these ministry initiatives;
- Approved the continuation of The Banner editorial council, with its current membership.
- Encouraged synod to adopt a revised proposal for the appointment of a director of diversity for a two-year period, and recommended that synod instruct the executive director to develop a comprehensive strategy for realigning denominational structures in a way that addresses concerns about diversity and brings the CRC closer to its goal of reflecting the communities it inhabits and the vision of the church expressed in the book of Revelation.
- Expressed appreciation for the work of a team that reviewed Canadian ministries and the role of the director of Canadian ministries. Its report will be forwarded to the Task Force Reviewing Structure and Culture as it reviews senior leadership positions.
- Elected Rev. Sheila E. Holmes as president of the binational Board for 2013-2014, Ms. Katherine Vandergrift as vice president and Rev. R. Scott Greenway as vice-all. The officers of the CRCNA-Canada Corporation are Ms. Katherine Vandergrift, president; Rev. Darren Roorda, vice president; and Rev. William Veenstra, secretary. Officers of the CRCNA-Michigan Corporation are Rev. Sheila E. Holmes, president; Rev. R. Scott Greenway, vice president; and Mr. Chris Van Spronsen, vice-all.
- Honored retiring Board members Rev. John Terpstra and Mr. Gary Van Engelenhoven for their service to the denomination and recognized Rev. Peter DeVries, Rev. R. Scott Greenway, Mr. Peter Noteboom, Rev. Christian Y. Oh, Rev. Angela Taylor Perry, Ms. Katherine Vandergrift and Rev. William Veenstra for completing their first three-year term on the Board.
- Recommended that synod accept the invitation of Crossroad Community CRC in Schererville, Indiana, as the convening church of Synod 2017 and that synod be held on the campus of Trinity Christian College. The Board also recommended that synod adopt a schedule whereby synod would meet in Grand Rapids normally four years out of every five. This makes the task of organizing synod more manageable and also allows Calvin College to plan for the use of its facilities.
- Heard reports from the directors and staff on the ministries of Christian Reformed World Missions and Race Relations.
- Approved the forming of a Reformed Benefits Association in partnership with the Reformed Church in America. The new group would administer benefit programs for CRC and RCA employees.
- Recommended that synod approve a Ministry Share amount of $332.79 for the calendar year 2014. This is a two percent increase over the current amount, with the additional funding earmarked for the new ministry initiatives outlined in item 2 above.
- Appointed Ms. Christina De Vries to the Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee as a member from the South/East Ontario-Quebec-Maritimes region.
- Next meetings:
- Sept. 26-28, 2013 - simultaneous board meetings in Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Feb. 27-28, 2014 – Burlington, Ontario
- May 1-2, 2014 – Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Sept. 25-27, 2014 - simultaneous board meetings in Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Feb. 26-27, 2015 – Burlington, Ontario
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