The Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Christian Reformed Church in North America met from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, 2011, at the Prince Conference Center, Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Mich.
At this meeting the Board:
- Affirmed the appointment of Rev. Jimmy Lin as interim director of Back to God Ministries International (see news story). Rev. Robert C. Heerspink, the BTGMI director, passed away Oct. 1 after a three-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Rev. Lin had been serving as administrative director during his illness. The Board also spent time in prayer for the Heerspink family and friends and for the staff of BTGMI during their time of loss.
- Ratified the appointment of Ms. Bonnie Nicholas as director of Safe Church Ministry (see news story). Ms. Nicholas had been serving as interim director since the resignation of Ms. Beth Swagman.
- Appointed Rev. Allen Likkel to the Chaplaincy and Care Ministry Advisory Committee.
- Saw a preview of a campaign for promoting Ministry Shares to church leaders across the denomination. The campaign, which begins this fall, features a mailing to church councils containing a variety of informational resources. It also includes a series of advertisements in The Banner.
- Heard that Dr. Peter Harkema will be stepping down from his role as director of Denominational Advancement (see news story), effective Dec. 31, 2011, on the grounds that the interim leadership arrangements make it difficult to proceed with advancement work.
- Suspended indefinitely the exploration of a biennial denominational conference, noting that the energy would be better used at this time in preparing for a young adult summit to be held in conjunction with synod, as well as in grappling with issues of diversity and structure.
- Adopted recommendations from the report of a task force that reviewed Safe Church matters. The recommendations clarify the procedure to be followed in the event that an allegation of sexual misconduct is made against a CRCNA employee.
- Adopted communication guidelines for use by the administration and Communications Office in the event that issues arise which threaten the work or reputation of the CRCNA and its ministries.
- Heard a presentation from Mr. Henry Doorn of the Barnabas Foundation on the longterm financial outlook for the CRCNA. Mr. Doorn noted that the denomination and its agencies can expect to receive an influx of donations from estate settlements in coming years and need to start planning for this, both in terms of how to use the money and in developing a new generation of donors.
- Gathered with members of agency boards for an evening session featuring a speech by Dr. Tony Diekema, a former president of Calvin College, on the topic of denominational structure.
- Clarified the mandate for the Task Force Reviewing Structure and Culture of the CRCNA. The mandate contains short-term, medium-term, and longer-term measures and includes the option of the Board making positive changes that are within its mandate, while matters that need synod’s approval would be brought to synod.
- Affirmed a report from the BOT Finance Committee strongly supporting the continued provision of centralized services for CRCNA ministries and agencies in the areas of financial services, human resources, information technology, advancement services and facilities.
- The Board also heard reports from the director of Disability Concerns, the co-directors of CRWRC, and the director of the Leadership Exchange.
- Next meetings:
- Feb. 23-24, 2012, in Burlington, Ontario
- May 3-4, 2012, in Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Sept. 27-29, 2012, simultaneous board meetings in Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Feb. 21-22, 2013, in Burlington, Ontario
- May 2-3, 2013, in Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Sept. 26-28, 2013, simultaneous board meetings in Grand Rapids, Michigan
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