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Highlights from meeting of May 7-8, 2015

Grand Rapids, Mich. – The Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church in North America met on May 7 and 8, 2015, at the Denominational Building in Grand Rapids, Mich

During this meeting the Board:

  • Interviewed and appointed Ms. Carol Bremer-Bennett as the new Director of World Renew – U.S., pending ratification by Synod 2015. Ms. Bremer-Bennett currently serves as superintendent of the Rehoboth Christian School in Rehoboth, N.M. She will take the place of long-time World Renew co-director Mr. Andrew Ryskamp, who retires this summer. For a full report on the appointment, go to:
  • Endorsed a plan by Christian Reformed World Missions and Christian Reformed Home Missions that would unite the two agencies into a global mission agency, and recommended it to Synod 2015. The new agency’s mandate would be to:
  1. Encourage and assist congregations and classes in their work of evangelism and discipleship;
  2. Initiate, support and guide new-church development and other evangelistic and ​discipling ministries;
  3. Develop Christian leaders.

The Board also endorsed a two-year transition plan, contingent upon synod’s approval of the unification proposal.

  • Approved the unified budget for the CRC agencies, institutions and ministries in the upcoming fiscal year and recommended that synod approve a one percent increase in Ministry Shares to $339.48 per active, adult member for 2016.
  • Adopted a communication to Synod 2015 regarding the report of the Task Force Reviewing Structure and Culture (TFRSC). The communication commends the report to synod for careful consideration and encourages synod to “provide direction and latitude to the Transition Committee” should the report be adopted. It noted that the Task Force “has served synod by guiding the CRCNA through significant adaptive change” during the past four years. 

It also noted that the Board “has engaged in significant discussion” of the report, including the size of the proposed Council of Delegates, the interrelationships with the proposed advisory committees, the goal of strengthening bi-nationality, the roles of the expanded executive and delegates, and ensuring that minority voices are enhanced. 

  • Recommended that Synod 2015 endorse the draft of the new Ministry Plan, in particular the sections on Desired Futures and Strategic Foci, and that it take time to engage with and provide input into the steps set out in the Plan to move toward those goals.
  • Endorsed proposals to encourage classes and congregations in the CRC to engage in the Blanket Exercise as a means of raising awareness about the Doctrine of Discovery, and to ask synod to include the Blanket Exercise for all delegates in the schedule for Synod 2016.
  • Elected officers for 2015-2016. For the Board of Trustees, the officers are Ms. Katherine M. Vandergrift, president; Mr. Chris Van Spronsen, vice president; Rev. Calvin ​Hoogendoorn, vice-all. Officers of the CRCNA-Canada Corporation are Ms. Katherine M. Vandergrift, president; Mr. Peter Noteboom, vice president; Mr. Michael Wevers, secretary. For the CRCNA-Michigan Corporation, the officers are Mr. Chris Van Spronsen, president; Rev. Calvin Hoogendoorn, vice president; Dr. Socorro Woodbury, vice-all.
  • Approved a plan to appoint two young adult representatives to the Board of Trustees as non-voting members serving a two-year term. The task of the young adult representatives will be to represent the viewpoints of young adults, ages 18 to 26, on the Board. One will be appointed from the U.S. and the other from Canada.
  • Honored members who are completing six years of service on the Board: Mr. Mark Charles, Mr. Bruce Dykstra, Mrs. Joan Flikkema, Rev. Dale Melenberg, and Rev. Trevor Vanderveen. Also recognized Dr. Peter Szto and Mr. Bert Witvoet, who are completing three years of service but not returning for a second term, and Rev. Kenneth A. Baker, who has completed a first term of service.
  • Received with regret the resignation of Rev. Jake Kuipers from the Board due to health reasons. 
  • Honored Rev. Joel R. Boot, Rev. Robert De Moor and Mr. Andrew Ryskamp, who are retiring this year. Rev. Boot served in several roles, including as the executive director; Rev. De Moor served in Faith Alive and as the editor of The Banner; Mr. Ryskamp served as the director of World Renew-U.S. 
  • Recommended that Synod 2015 express its gratitude to Rev. Joel R. Boot for his years of service and confer on him the title of executive director, emeritus.
  • Endorsed the mandate of the Faith Formation Ministry office, as approved by the Ministries Leadership Council.

Upcoming meetings:

  • Sept. 24-26, 2015, simultaneous board meetings in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Feb. 25-26, 2016, in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • May 5-6, 2016, in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, 2016, simultaneous board meetings in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Feb. 23-24, 2017, in Burlington, Ontario
  • May 4-5, 2017, in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Sept. 28-30, 2017, in Grand Rapids, Michigan

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Steven Timmermans, Executive Director
[email protected]

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